The Dallas Cowboys haven't gotten any luck on the injury front in 2020. It seems as if every week, win or lose, someone on the Cowboys roster has an ailment to deal with. Well, their Week 15 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers was no different as Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch left the game with an ankle injury.
The third-year pro self-diagnosed himself after the Cowboys win on Sunday. “It's not broke,” Vander Esch said. “It's definitely a high ankle. Just, hope it's just a sprain. I'll get an MRI tomorrow.”
Turns out that the man they call “The Wolf Hunter” was spot on with his analysis as an MRI on Monday confirmed it was indeed a high ankle sprain. Now, this puts the rest of the regular season in jeopardy for Vander Esch.
Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday's win over 49ers, source said. His status for this Sunday's game against Eagles is in question. He'll be monitored over course of week to see how right ankle responds to rest, rehab.
Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy stated that Vander Esch was a long-shot to play this Sunday against the rival Philadelphia Eagles during a Monday press conference.
“I don't see Leighton having a chance to maybe play this week,” McCarthy said. “Obviously we'll get more into that diagnosis come Wednesday. But it's maybe a couple-week injury.”
This is a continuation of a frustrating season for Vander Esch. In the Cowboys season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, he suffered a broken collarbone and went on injured reserve until Week 6 vs the Arizona Cardinals.
2020 isn't Vander Esch's first season on the injury report. In 2019, he missed seven games with a neck issue that required offseason surgery to repair. He claimed he felt great in the offseason, but unfortunately, it hasn't stopped him from appearing on the injury report multiple times.
Vander Esch exploded onto the scene as a rookie in 2018 registering 140 tackles and receiving second-team All-Pro honors. However, the last two seasons have been miserable as far as his health seeing as he's missed 11 games over that span.
Even with the Cowboys hanging on to slim playoff chances it may be wise to shut down Vander Esch for the remainder of the season considering his recent injury history.