According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Sean Lee, the Dallas Cowboys' starting middle linebacker suffered a torn left ACL during Tuesday's practice.
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The injury happened on a screen pass as the Cowboys' first round draft pick Zack Martin was blocking Lee. Lee slipped while he was being blocked, fell to the ground and had to be helped off the field and into the locker room by members of the training staff.
"I don't really know what happened," Martin said. "Two guys playing hard, running to the ball. We'll see what happens. ... Hope for the best. He's obviously a great player, leader of the defense."
Lee's absence during 5 games last season due to hamstring and neck injuries was clearly one of the many reasons the Cowboys defense struggled so mightily. Sadly, he still led the team in interceptions last season, finished 4th on the team in tackles in 2012 despite missing 10 games, and led the team in tackles in 2011 even though he had to wear a cast for much of the season due to a wrist injury.
Lee's injury history is quite extensive:
- 2014, torn left ACL
- 2013, missed 5 games due to neck and hamstring injuries
- 2012, missed 10 games due to toe surgery
- 2011, missed 1 game due to dislocated wrist, but played most of the season with a cast
- 2009, partially tore his left ACL
- 2008, torn right ACL
"Sean has had to deal with injuries throughout college and also here in the NFL," coach Jason Garrett said. "He really does everything he can to get himself ready to play. Unfortunately, he had to deal with a few of those things, but he's as mentally tough as an individual I've ever been around. Whatever the circumstances are, he always puts his best foot forward and strives to be his best. I don't anticipate this being any different."
The Cowboys now must find a replacement for Lee at middle linebacker. The most likely replacements are DeVonte Holloman or Anthony Hitchens, the team's 4th round draft pick from Iowa.