Updates from Tuesday, July 1
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports passed along the news that the Cowboys have placed Sean Lee on injured reserve:
Per the NFL transaction wire, Sean Lee was placed on IR by the Cowboys. And the McClain trade is official.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 1, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, June 17
Jerry Jones spoke about Sean Lee, his injured knee and the chances of a return this season (via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News):
Jerry Jones: Cowboys are not counting on Sean Lee this season but have not ruled him out. Says the decision will be up to Lee.— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) June 17, 2014
Updates from Thursday, June 12
Todd Archer of ESPN provided the latest in Sean Lee's recovery from a torn ACL:
Sean Lee had surgery today repaired ACL and small meniscus tear. No decision on IR or PUP yet according to Jason Garrett.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) June 12, 2014
Rainer Sabin of DallasNews.com had more on Lee's knee surgery:
The operation was performed Thursday by team doctor, Dan Cooper.
“We got him all cleaned up and he will be back doing his rehab before you know it and he will be back playing before you know it,” Garrett said.
Lee suffered the injury May 27 during the Cowboys’ first day of organized team activities. The timetable for recovery is typically seven to nine months. But head athletic trainer Jim Maurer said each individual’s rehab schedule is different.
“I have already told [Lee], ‘We’re going to be fine,’” Maurer said. “You’re going to play for six more years. This ACL – we’re going to get this fixed.”
Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram provided more background on the status of Lee's knee:
Cowboys LB Sean Lee came into league with partially torn acl. It was a ticking bomb. Now it's fixed. Knee should be stronger than before— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) June 12, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, June 10
David Moore of The Dallas Morning News provides an update on Sean Lee's knee surgery:
Sean Lee will have surgery on his torn ACL this Thursday— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) June 10, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, June 3
ESPN's Ed Werder has the latest on Lee's injury:
Source says NFL Players Association convinced Sean Lee knee injury was not result of contact with Zack Martin and Cowboys violated no rules.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 3, 2014
Stephen Jones also spoke about Lee's health via Calvin Watkins of ESPN:
Stephen Jones said Seam Lee has a torn ACL but the team is exploring options.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) June 3, 2014
Updates from Monday, June 2
ESPN's Ed Werder reports potential replacements the Cowboys are considering in wake of Sean Lee's knee injury:
Cowboys evaluating all options for replacing LB Sean Lee, including vets like Brian Urlacher and Jon Vilma. Will likely be 2-player platoon— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 2, 2014
I believe Brian Urlacher unlikely _ and I'm told nothing imminent _ but source says he took notice when Sean Lee hurt. Mentioned Cowboys LY— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 2, 2014
Cowboys have internally discussed Brian Urlacher and Jon Vilma, tape watched and evaluated. Team source on how much interest: "Not much."— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 2, 2014
Appeal of Brian Urlacher to Dallas: experience in Rod Marinelli D, communicate calls. Leadership. Speed in space. But poor change direction.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 2, 2014
Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram continued:
Was told the cowboys are NOT kicking the tires on urlacher. It might change in august. But that's what I was told this am. Have a nice day— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) June 2, 2014
However, ESPN's Calvin Watkins reports the Cowboys aren't ready to declare Lee out for the year:
Jason Garrett still won't rule out Sean Lee. Garrett said team is putting a plan together.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) June 2, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, May 28
Mickey Spagnola of DallasCowboys.com provides a disheartening update on Sean Lee's knee injury and recovery:
Spoke with Sean Lee. Torn ACL left knee and a little miniscus. Knew it as soon as it happened. surgery in a couple of weeks. Out for season.— Mickey Spagnola (@Spags52) May 28, 2014
A sliver of good news on the injury to Cowboys LB Sean Lee - I'm told he only tore the ACL in his left knee. It's not a multi-ligament tear.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 28, 2014
The fact that the ACL tear for Lee doesn't involve other ligaments likely means he can have surgery sooner, which moves up the timetable.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 28, 2014
Ed Werder of ESPN added a potential timeline for his recovery:
Despite some players returning more quickly from ACL surgery, Cowboys see Sean Lee rehab as 8- to 12-month process to assure best results— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) May 28, 2014
Linebacker Sean Lee, entering his fifth year with the Dallas Cowboys, was helped off the field Tuesday during the first day of OTAs with a knee injury.
ESPN's Ed Werder spoke with league sources about the injury:
Nothing official from Cowboys, but league sources say Sean Lee told MRI confirms torn ACL in left knee and expected to miss 2014 season— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) May 28, 2014
The Cowboys added details:
Sean Lee Suffers Knee Injury; LB Getting MRI Tuesday http://t.co/XQsZhI3CiP— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 27, 2014
John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game and ESPN's Adam Schefter revealed more about the extent of the injury:
Hearing the #Cowboys are fearing the worst. Source says it does not look good. LB Sean Lee will likely be out for the year— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) May 27, 2014
Cowboys fear LB Sean Lee tore his left ACL. Lee will undergo an MRI today to see if Cowboys fears are reality.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 27, 2014
Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas had a slightly more optimistic outlook:
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted video footage of the hit:
Joe Trahan of WFAA-TV passed along comments from Cowboys coach Jason Garrett:
Garrett: Lee's had to deal with injury - does everything he can to get ready - as mentally tough an individual as he's seen. #wfaacowboys— Joe Trahan (@JoeTrahan) May 27, 2014
Werder provided thoughts from others in the organization:
Despite what appears on tape, people present believe Sean Lee knee collapsed before contact with rookie teammate. Described as freak play— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) May 27, 2014
Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com shared a photo on Twitter and a video on Instagram of Lee being taken off the practice field:
Sean Lee swearing as he is helped to the trainers room as pictures are being taken. "Bleep me," he says. pic.twitter.com/lMOZKgG71O— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) May 27, 2014
Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill included additional perspective:
Lee hurt his right knee in college. Appears he hurt his left knee today— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) May 27, 2014
Joe Trahan of WFAA 8 and Jesse Holley of CBS provided another look at the situation along with their thoughts:
1st Day of OTAs And Sean Lee is being helped off the field. The last thing the Cowboys WANTED OR NEEDED. pic.twitter.com/76yoS9faMM— Jesse Holley (@Mr4thAndLong) May 27, 2014
Last season, Lee played in just 11 games before sustaining a neck injury Dec. 9. The 27-year-old was still able to make a dent during his time on the field, recording 99 total tackles, four interceptions for 174 yards and a touchdown along with six passes defended.
Pete Damilatis of Pro Football Focus noted a shocking stat about the Cowboys linebacker:
In the last 4 seasons, Sean Lee is 5th among NFL inside linebackers in @PFF grade, but 27th in snaps played.— Pete Damilatis (@PFF_Pete) May 27, 2014
During the 2014 NFL draft, Dallas took a player who might just be a backup to watch following Lee's injury. Owner Jerry Jones spoke about fourth-round pick Anthony Hitchens, per Carlos Mendez of the Star-Telegram:
We saw a guy who could run with size, and we saw one of the few inside linebackers that we thought could come in here and help us if we lost Sean Lee. So we saw a guy who could definitely improve us from where we were last year when we lost Sean Lee.
I’m not saying he’s Sean Lee, but he can drop back and get back and as Jason would tell you, we’re going to do a better job of doing that and playing the ball up in front of us. What he did do in his collegiate career is a real good job of getting back and getting in lanes. So that’s what we saw and is just right what we need.
After releasing longtime veteran pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware this offseason, the Cowboys were looking to Lee to return to full health and shore up the middle linebacker position while serving as a leader on defense.
Now Dallas will have to lean on another player to step up at the position alongside presumably Bruce Carter and Justin Durant in the linebacking corps.
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