Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Sean Lee injured his left knee during practice on May 27. He has a torn left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and is expected to miss the entire 2014 NFL season.
Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee has a torn left ACL.
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Nick Eatman of the Cowboys' official website wrote about Lee's injury in its aftermath on May 27:
"The excitment that was apparent at the start of Tuesday's OTA practice at Valley Ranch was met with equal concern by the end of the 90-minute session.
"The sight of linebacker Sean Lee being helped off the field by two trainers after injuring his left knee was enough to ruin what was an upbeat, enthusiastic first practice of the offseason for the entire squad.
"The significance of the injury remains unclear. Head coach Jason Garrett said in his post-practice press conference that Lee will undergo an MRI Tuesday afternoon.
"Obvoiusly Lee's injury history has been a major topic of discussion for this entire team since he joined the team in 2010. The Cowboys drafted Lee in the second round because he was considered injury-prone and during his four seasons, Lee hasn't been able to shed that label.
"Last year he missed five of the last six games, including the final three with a neck injury.
"He was cleared to practice a few weeks ago but it was near the end of the team session when Lee got caught up with first-round draft pick Zack Martin on a play that put Lee to the ground.
"'I really don't know what happened there,' Martin said. 'It was just a football play and we were both going full speed. I really don't know.'
"The injury occurred on a screen pass to the flat and Martin was on the move from his right guard spot. Lee was running towards the line of scrimmage when he stopped to make a cut to his left.
"That's when he apparently collided with Martin and dropped to the ground.
"Lee spent about two minutes on the ground before being helped up by the athletic trainers. The obviously-frustrated linebacker couldn't hide his emotions as he went into the locker room. His teammates didn't exactly hold back, either. Safety Barry Church was seen shaking his head in disgust several plays after the incident."
Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne told The Dallas Morning News' Brandon George the sight of Lee getting injured scared him.
He said,"It scared me. When I first saw him go down, I kind of held my breath. Sean, he's a warrior, and he'll be back as quick as he can.
ESPN's Adam Schefter and Todd Archer (via their colleague Ed Werder) confirm Lee suffered a torn left ACL -- an injury which will make him sit out the entire 2014 NFL season.
"Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee has been told he has a torn ACL and is expected to miss the entire season, a source told ESPN's Ed Werder.
"The Cowboys have made no official statement regarding the results of the MRI performed on Lee's injured left knee, but the linebacker has been told the exam confirmed he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee and he is not expected to play during the 2014 season.
"Lee tore his right ACL in April 2008 while at Penn State, then partially tore his left ACL during the 2009 season.
"'Sean has had to deal with injuries throughout college and also here in the NFL,' coach Jason Garrett said earlier Tuesday. '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.'"
George adds Lee, who signed a lucrative contract extension last year, has been hoping to be more durable in the months leading to his most recent injury.
"Last summer, the Cowboys signed Lee to a six-year, $42 million contract extension, but he could earn up to $9 million more based on play-time incentives. Lee would earn an extra $1.5 million on his 2015 base salary if he played in 80 percent of the snaps in 2014.
"Since signing his contract extension, Lee said over and over that now he just had to find a way to stay on the field.
"'I have shown the ability to come back fully healthy and at times even better,' Lee said in January. 'That's something that I will continue to do.'"
The 27-year-old Lee has amassed 294 tackles, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 11 interceptions in his four-year NFL career, per ESPN stats.
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