The opening weekend of the NFL season couldn’t have gone a whole lot worse for the Dallas Cowboys. They lost the game to the Los Angeles Rams 20-17, and they suffered a couple of significant injuries, mainly linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
Vander Esch broke his collarbone and will be out for an estimated six to eight weeks.
Leighton Vander Esch is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday on his broken collarbone suffered in the season opener and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, according to a source. Vander Esch, who suffered the injury in the first quarter, is likely headed to… https://t.co/PFzx5DZEAI
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) September 14, 2020
With the changes to the NFL’s injured reserve list, put into place for this unique season, it’s almost a certainty Vander Esch will be placed on IR.
Unlike past years when a player on IR had to miss at least eight weeks and a team could only pull two off the list, this season allows for an unlimited number of players to be activated and a player on the list only to miss three weeks.
That allows the team to fill the roster spot of the injured player while they’re out.
Dallas also lost tight end Blake Jarwin for the season with a knee injury.
Vander Esch contributed two tackles and one assist for the Cowboy defense before leaving the game on Sunday.
The 24-year-old linebacker was taken 19th overall by Dallas in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Last season, Leighton Vander Esch recorded 72 total tackles, but missed time with injuries then as well, playing in nine games.
His rookie year has been his healthiest and most productive. In 2018, Vander Esch had 140 total tackles while going on to be named to the NFL’s All-Rookie Team and Pro Bowl. He was also second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press and Pro Football Focus as a rookie.