IRVING, Texas – While linebacker Sean Lee missed yesterday's game with his second concussion of the season, it appears he will have a good shot of returning to the lineup next Sunday in Miami.
Head coach Jason Garrett said Lee has passed all the concussion protocols and expects his starting linebacker to practice.
"We are optimistic," Garrett said in his Monday press conference at Valley Ranch. "We will take the situation day by day. We anticipate him practicing on Wednesday."
The Cowboys had enough optimism with Lee to release Keith Smith, who was signed the Saturday before the team departed for Tampa.
Lee suffered the concussion in the second half of the Nov. 8 game with the Eagles at AT&T Stadium. He was taken to the locker room and didn't return. Earlier in the season, Lee left the game in New Orleans because of a concussion. However, he did return to the lineup the next week against the Patriots and had seven tackles.[embeddedad0]
Lee continued to increase his tackle totals in the next two games, recording nine against the Giants before a season-best 15, with two tackles for loss, in a close game with the Seahawks. Lee had six tackles before the concussion against the Eagles.
Without him in the lineup on Sunday, the Cowboys switched around their starters, moving Anthony Hitchens from the strong (SAM) to the weak side (WILL) with Kyle Wilber starting on the strong side.
When he's on the field, Lee has been one of the more productive defensive players in recent history for the Cowboys. But injuries have certainly piled up for Lee, who has missed 35 of a possible 89 games in his six years with the team. The most notable injury occurred last year when a torn ACL in the summer caused him to miss all 16 games in 2014. He had a season-ending toe injury in 2012 that kept him out for 10 games, and in 2013, he missed five games with a neck injury.
When healthy, he has shown the ability to be effective. Only three times in Cowboys history has a player recorded 21 tackles in a game and Lee has done it twice (2012, 2013), along with Lee Roy Jordan (1971).