Vander Esch breaks collarbone in Cowboys 2020 season opener

By Anthony Caruso III

The Dallas Cowboys suffered several injuries in their season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Rams. These injuries could potentially be season-ending.

First, tight end Blake Jarwin will definitely miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Secondly, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch suffered a broken collarbone in the contest.

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch tackles Aaron Jones against the Green Bay Packers
Leighton Vander Esch tackles Aaron Jones against the Green Bay Packers (Getty Images)

He will go on injured reserve, like Jarwin, on Monday. There is a chance that Vander Esch comes back from the injury once he’s healed.

However, he will have surgery and is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks, according to the Dallas Morning News. Players, who have suffered a broken collarbone before, usually miss at least half a season.

But with Vander Esch having neck injuries during his short career, this could potentially be a career-threatening injury.

It’s a tough blow for the Cowboys. In the off-season, Dallas lost Gerald McCoy to an injury, then released him due to a clause in his contract.

Now, with Vander Esch no longer in the picture for several games, career reserve Joe Thomas may get the call to start in his spot. Thomas – who is in his third season with the Cowboys – made two starts for the team in 2019.

In his career, Thomas has 10 career starts in 68 games between the Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. When Thomas started the two games in 2019, it was the first-time he started a game in the league since 2017 when he started one game for the Packers.

Vander Esch played in just nine games during the 2019 season. LVE is just 24-years-old, but there’s definitely concerns for his long-term ability to stay healthy in the league.

He has appeared in 21 games, including 21 starts over two-plus seasons. In the season-opener, Vander Esch had two tackles against the Rams.

In the previous two seasons, he has had 212 tackles, including three tackles for a loss and two quarterback hits.

Vander Esch has 0.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two interceptions, and 10 pass deflections.

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