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Leighton Vander Esch Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2024

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that LB Leighton Vander Esch will miss the rest of the season with the neck injury that landed him on IR. Jones declined to say whether it might end the LB's career. Vander Esch has dealt with neck issues since college and sustained multiple injuries during his Dallas run. We'd bet that he's seriously considering whether to shut it down, at 27 and after six years in the league. We'll watch for further updates on that. For this year's Cowboys, the news means Damone Clark should lead the LB playing time the rest of the way. S/LB Markquese Bell has been running as the second LB since LVE went down. Bell's playing time appeared to decline sharply in Sunday's win over the Giants, though. We'll have to see this week how much of that came from the odd game script of the completely one-sided victory. For now, Bell is best left out of most IDP lineups. Clark looks like a weekly LB3 with upside into LB2 territory.

The Cowboys will be placing LB Leighton Vander Esch on IR for the neck injury that knocked him out in Week 5. He's expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks. We'll see Monday night just how Dallas plans to fill in for LVE. Damone Clark is an obvious candidate for more playing time. Micah Parsons has also been mentioned as a potential part of the plan, which would mean more snaps in a standup position off the D-line. S Markquese Bell also figures to see added playing time.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch suffered a neck injury late in Sunday night's loss to the 49ers. X-rays at the stadium came back negative, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. Vander Esch will have an MRI Monday to assess the injury further. It's a particularly touchy situation because LVE has a history of neck issues dating back to college. We'll watch for more on his outlook for Week 6 and beyond.

Cowboys LB Micah Parsons is questionable for Thursday night's game against the Titans with a left-hand injury that limited his practice the past 2 days. He said after Tuesday's workout that he still expected to play. The team has ruled out LB Leighton Vander Esch (shoulder), which will boost the playing time for LBs Anthony Barr and Damone Clark. Check our Week 17 IDP rankings to see whether either should factor into your fantasy football plans.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch (shoulder) is expected to miss his 2nd straight game Thursday against the Titans. He did some work on the side during Tuesday's practice but likely need more time before he's game ready. Rookie Damone Clark started in LVE's place against the Eagles but played just 69% of the defensive snaps and logged 4 total tackles. Veteran LB Anthony Barr has played 2 of his 4 largest snap snares all season the past 2 weeks. He has topped out at 7 total tackles, though, and has exceeded 4 solos just once (Week 15). We wouldn't bother with any Cowboys LB other than Micah Parsons for IDP lineups in most cases.

Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs (illness) and LB Micah Parsons (illness) are questionable for Saturday's game against the Eagles. EDGE Dorance Armstrong (knee) is also questionable. LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) is officially out, leaving rookie Damone Clark to start in his place.

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy on Monday ruled LB Leighton Vander Esch out for Saturday's game against the Eagles. He also revealed that it's a shoulder injury for LVE rather than a neck issue, as originally reported. That's good news given Vander Esch's history of neck trouble. His absence this week should turn rookie LB Damone Clark into a full-timer. The 5th-round pick looks like an upside waiver-wire addition in deeper IDP leagues.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch hurt his neck in Sunday's OT loss to the Jaguars. That's a particularly worrisome injury for LVE, who has a history of neck issues dating back to college. We'll see about his outlook for Week 16 and beyond.

Cowboys LB Micah Parsons tested positive for COVID Wednesday. The Saturday night kickoff would seem to make it difficult for him to make it back, but we're not yet seeing Parsons reported as being out for the game. If he does miss the regular-season finale, then LBs Leighton Vander Esch and Keanu Neal should see playing-time boosts. Vander Esch would be our preferred IDP play.

The Cowboys will "essentially" move LB Micah Parsons to DE starting today against the Chargers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The shift comes out of need, as Dallas lost DE Randy Gregory (COVID list) and DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot fracture) over the past week. As a result, LB Leighton Vander Esch "should stay on the field in all packages, along with Keanu Neal," Rapoport reports. Neal could see more snaps at safety this week, with S Donovan Wilson (groin) also out. That would leave more playing time available for Jaylon Smith. Vander Esch played just 22% of defensive snaps in the Week 1 loss to Tampa, while Smith played just 25%. Parsons led the group at 78%, with Neal just 1 snap behind. There will obviously be risk in using any of the Cowboys LBs in IDP lineups for Week 2. But Parsons, Neal and LVE all look usable at varied levels. We'd try to hold off on trusting Smith's snap share for now, as the likely 4th guy in order of playing time here. The move also hurts the IDP upside for Parsons by cutting down on his tackle opportunities. We've adjusted them all in our Week 2 LB rankings.

The Cowboys have started rookie Micah Parsons and converted S Keanu Neal at LB in each of their past 2 preseason games. It looks as though that pair will lead the playing time at the position. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch did mix in heavily with the 1st-team defense against Houston on Saturday, though. The ascension of the 2 new guys is noteworthy. Smith has been a full-time player and carries 1 of the league's largest cap numbers among off-ball LBs (nearly $10 million), and LVE is a former 1st-round pick who has dealt with injuries the past couple of years. Parsons, of course, arrived in Round 1 of this year's draft. Neal has history with new DC Dan Quinn, having played for him in Atlanta. The exact playing-time breakdown in this crowded corps is likely still working out, so we're wary of over-committing to any Dallas LB in IDP leagues. Parsons looks like the player with the highest upside and makes for a nice LB3 option (if he lasts). Neal could be a worthwhile late flier in deeper drafts. We've updated our projections for the group this week.

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