Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones confirmed reports Tuesday that veteran linebacker Leighton Vander Esch would be out the rest of the season due to a neck injury, adding that there is now concern about his football future.
During his weekly appearance on KRLD, Jones called reports about Vander Esch’s status with the team «accurate.»
He 27 year old linebacker He was eligible to come off injured reserve this week after having been sidelined since Oct. 8.
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«We had completely left it up to how it was evolving. But of course it’s a very significant loss for us,» Jones said. «He’s an integral part of that defense. But we just wish him the best.»
Vander Esch was injured during a Week 5 game against the San Francisco 49ers when he was pushed from behind and neck-struck into the leg of teammate Micah Parsons. Jones did not reveal the extent of his injury, but said there is concern about the «long term.»
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«The nature of his possible injury here makes me really think about the long term and beyond what it means for next week or beyond what it means for next month in relation to the team. It has everything to do with what which is better for him.»
Jones did not definitively say whether the injury ended his career.
«Let’s put it this way, I don’t know. There are a lot of factors involved. But he really needs to see how this continues to heal, and then from that point decide if he would like it or not.» he goes on to say, exposing yourself to injury.»
Vander Esch has had a history of neck problems dating back to his time in Boise State, which raises concern about his latest injury. He underwent spinal fusion surgery after the 2019 season before missing time with a broken collarbone and ankle injury in 2020, followed by more neck issues the past two seasons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.