The Cowboys are taking is slow with linebacker Sean Lee.
After missing all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, they are bringing him along in training camp with kid gloves.
Lee has been 100 percent cleared by the doctors but the Cowboys are being cautious with him. He has been kept out of team drills and only recently been allowed to 7-on-7 work.
Lee, however, plans to be unleashed when the Cowboys start playing games. He said he expects to play a lot in the preseasons.
“I would expect to play,” Lee said. “I don’t know. It’s up to the coaches, but I would expect to play a lot in the preseason.”
Lee even repeated himself for those didn’t get it the first time, “I would expect to play a lot in the preseason.”
Lee understands why the Cowboys are being careful. He has yet to play a full 16 games since coming to the Cowboys in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
They not only want him to be ready for the start of the season but they want to put him in the best possible position to play the entire season.
“You certainly want to be mindful of a player’s history,” Coach Jason Garrett said. “But I think more important than that is the recent history. Sean’s done a great job coming back off his injury. And he’s had a great offseason. His rehab has really come along I think smoothly and he’s probably ahead of schedule. But the biggest thing with all these guys who are coming back, you don’t want them to take a huge step backward because you pushed them too quickly. You want to be mindful about when you really need them to play and when you need them to be their best. And you want to use this time, and make these kind of incremental steps forward and then over time, you’ve made a bigger leap. Rather than trying to get too aggressive too early and then all of a sudden he’s two weeks behind and then you’re scrambling again.
“Sean’s a great worker. He cares a great deal about this game and being as good as he can be at it. So he’s almost one of the guys that you have to dial back more. You have to kind of get in his way and be the roadblock and say, ‘Sean, here’s what we’re going to do today.’ It’s going to be individual. It’s going to some stuff in seven on seven and nothing else. And then you kind of work through the next day and hopefully over time you get him where he needs to be. We have to handle it right. He’s got to handle it right and we’re confident we can do that.”
That’s what Lee wants as well. He not only wants to be ready to play but he wants to able to produce at a high level as he has done in the past.
“Yeah, we’re always trying to build forward, not take any steps back,” Lee said. “I’ve felt great. I feel like we’ve improved every week, every month and that’s the key to continuing to go that way. I think the one thing I can say is I’ve missed a lot of time, but I’ve also come back from a lot of injuries and have been able to produce after injuries. That’s my goal now: Coming back, being able to stay on the field, but also producing after an injury.”