Cowboys’ Vander Esch says ankle not broken, MRI to come

Todd Brock
·2 min read

In a game that featured plenty for Cowboys fans to cheer about, there were a few dark moments during the team’s 41-33 win over visiting San Francisco. One came in the third quarter when linebacker Leighton Vander Esch went down with an apparent ankle injury after assisting on a tackle of 49ers running back Tevin Coleman.

While Vander Esch was able to leave the field under his own power, he was seen being escorted into the tunnel shortly thereafter. He was immediately listed as questionable to return but never did. Now one has to wonder if Vander Esch will return to the field at all in 2020.

The third-year star out of Boise State was seen after the game in a walking boot, but he was quick to point out that he doesn’t believe he suffered any sort of fracture.

If his self-diagnosis of a high ankle sprain is correct, it may require Vander Esch to shut it down for the remaining two games of the regular season.

It’s been a tough year for Vander Esch. He broke a collarbone in the team’s season opener against the Rams, but remarkably missed only four games before returning Week 6 versus Arizona.

As a rookie in 2018, the first-round pick led the Cowboys with 140 tackles. He’s been in on just 57 so far this season.

Veteran Sean Lee took over Vander Esch’s slot on Sunday; he may be called upon to play a large role in the defense if Vander Esch misses more time with this ankle injury.

The Cowboys close out the season against division rivals Philadelphia and New York and still have a slim mathematical chance of earning a playoff berth.

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