Linebacker Sean Lee is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium.
The Dallas Cowboys linebacker is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice every day this week.
The Cowboys and Lee will make a game-time decision on his availability.
“We’ll take his situation day by day,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s making progress. Works very hard on his rehab, so we’ll see what he’s able to do today.”
Lee said earlier this week that his hamstring strain is not as bad as others he’s had, and is hopeful to play against the Rams. But it’s a risk/reward question on whether Lee should play and possibly sustain a worse injury, or just miss one game.
“Injuries have everything to do with what our medical people say first, our doctors and our trainers,” Garrett said. “Obviously the feedback from the player is valuable and you try to sort out what the injury is, what the risk is and you try your best. Every situation is different, based on what the injury is and who the payer is and all of that.
“So you just try your best. It’s a collaborative effort, but it starts with the medical people.”
Lee’s absence would be felt throughout the entire defense. He is the unquestioned leader of the unit and ranks second on the team in tackles with 29. Jaylon Smith leads the team with 30 through three games.
“He’s a great football player and undoubtedly the leader of our defense, but it goes beyond that,” Garrett said. “He just makes a ton of plays. I think he makes everybody around him better, but injuries are a part of the game. If he’s able to play, obviously we’d love to have him. But, if he’s not, put somebody else in there and we’ll keep rolling.”
If Lee isn’t able to go, Justin Durant would start at weak-side linebacker with Smith in the middle and Damien Wilson at strong-side.
Durant saw his snaps increase last week against the Arizona Cardinals. He played 32 snaps compared to just three in the first two games.
The Cowboys would likely carry just four linebackers on the active roster if Lee can’t go. Jaylon Smith, Durant, Wilson and Kyle Wilber would be the four, and fullback Keith Smith would serve as an emergency linebacker for the team.