IRVING, Texas - Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee said the injury that forced him out of Monday's game against the Chicago Bears is a sprained neck and that he expects to play through it for Sunday.
"It's a muscle deal," he said. "It's not the shoulder."
So that's good. Maybe it was a Godsend he was knocked out in the first half of that blowout loss and he didn't have to suffer through the Cowboys' latest defensive disaster.
The Cowboys football team is a better defensive football team with Sean Lee playing football on the football field. Barely. They are still a bad defensive football team with their best defensive player on the football field.
Well, "bad" if a defensive unit ranked 32nd out of 32 teams can be called bad. Maybe that's nitpicking.
Moving on, the team's best defensive player is not helping his case that he is not what the experts call "injury prone". He is. He just deals with it.
Lee told me he knows that tag will shadow him "until I stay healthy for a full season."
When he plays, Lee is one of the best middle linebackers in football. In 11 games, he has 99 tackles, six passes defended, four interceptions and a fumble recovery. That's Pro Bowl material.
The man would play through a broken face if he could. The fear is that Sean Lee just may be a guy whose body was not designed for a football season. Maybe a football game, but not a season.
In 2008 at Penn State, he tore his ACL and missed the season.
In 2010, he played in 14 games as a rookie with the Cowboys and suffered a variety of injuries, including a hamstring.
In 2011, he played in 15 games despite suffering a dislocated left wrist.
In 2012, he was limited to six games after suffered a toe injury.
In 2013, he has missed two games after suffering a hamstring injury.
"I can't worry about it," he told ME. "If you do, you'll change the way you play and you won't be as effective. If you hesitate you can't be the player you want to be. So you go out and let it rip and let's hope it doesn't happen again. It is what it is."
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