Even as the Cowboys are preparing to play the final two games without him, Sean Lee isn't ready to give up on the season yet. But the starting middle linebacker knows he time is against him.
He can't return until he is fully healed, and he doesn't know when that will be.
"It's getting close to the end of the year and obviously you only have so much time left so ...I'd like to be back as soon as possible, but I don't know exactly when that it is, and the doctors have to give me a timetable and clear me," Lee said Monday. "Hopefully I can be back, but right now we still have to do some more tests."
Lee injured his neck on the first play of the Dec. 9 game against the Bears. He played 47 of 72 snaps, leaving for good in the third quarter. A CT scan offered positive news the day after the game, but an MRI revealed a sprained ligament.
Lee, who said surgery is not necessary, will undergo more tests this week. He hopes for good news.
"My situation is week to week," he said. "We have to do more tests with the doctors. Until they clear me, I won't be in there. That is the key for me. Hopefully, they can clear me fairly soon. But they have to test that and figure that out."
Lee already has missed 16 of a possible 62 games in his career, having not played a full 16-game schedule in his four-year career. The $42 million extension he signed last summer includes significant incentives tied to playing time.
-- Clarence Hill