Cowboys LB Vander Esch undergoes neck surgery – NFL.com


Leighton Vander Esch is on the mend.

The Dallas Cowboys linebacker underwent non-invasive neck surgery on Tuesday to address nerve issues which caused him to miss seven games this season, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.

Vander Esch was expected to undergo some type of surgery when Dallas placed him on season-ending injured reserve on Dec. 23. NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported at the time that the second-year linebacker was expected to be back well before training camp.


Vander Esch has had recurring neck issues dating back to his college days at Boise State. The linebacker wears a restrictor to keep his range of motion under control while playing, but suffered a stinger during the 2019 season. Issues with his neck and back limited him to nine games during the 2019 campaign.

The Cowboys LB, who made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season, logged 72 tackles, one QB hit, a forced fumble and 0.5 sacks in his second year.

Here are the other injuries we’re monitoring on Tuesday:

Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill said in an Instagram post Tuesday that he underwent sucessful knee surgery. The standout rookie suffered a torn ACL in Week 17.

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