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Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch has returned to the practice field this week. CBS Sports reports that he's on track to play Monday night against the Cardinals. Dallas, however, has yet to list him on this week's injury report, which means the team has yet to activate him from IR. Vander Esch suffered a collarbone fracture in Week 1, so playing in Week 6 would mark a surprisingly quick return. Players typically take half a season to return from that surgery. We'll see about Vander Esch's status for Monday night as we move into the weekend. He's at least worth picking up now where available, though, assuming that he'll be ready to play Washington in Week 7. His return will push Joe Thomas back out of the starting lineup.

Recent Shark Bites

The Cowboys have declined the 5th-year option on LB Leighton Vander Esch, leaving 2021 as the final year on his rookie contract. It's not a surprising move given LVE's injury issues the past 2 years (13 games missed). The decision adds upside to 1st-round pick Micah Parsons, who should find a full-time role by 2022 (if not sooner).

The Cowboys have ruled LB Leighton Vander Esch (ankle) out for Sunday's game against the Giants. It'll be his 2nd straight missed game. No Dallas LB other than Jaylon Smith played more than 58% of the snaps with LVE out last week against Philadelphia.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch is active for tonight's game against the Cardinals. It will mark his 1st action since he suffered a collarbone fracture in the opener.

The Cowboys have activated LB Leighton Vander Esch from IR. That falls in line with last week's word from HC Mike McCarthy that Vander Esch was trending toward facing the Cardinals tonight. We'll confirm LVE's active status closer to game time. It's tough to know whether he'll jump back to full playing time right away. But Vander Esch's activation puts him ahead of Joe Thomas as an IDP option for Week 6.

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said Saturday that he's "definitely encouraged" about LB Leighton Vander Esch's chance of playing Monday night against the Cardinals. "All the arrows are pointing up right now," McCarthy added. The team has yet to actually activate the LB from IR, though, following surgery for a Week 1 collarbone fracture. If you're hoping to use Vander Esch -- or replacement Joe Thomas -- in your IDP lineup, then you'll need to watch the situation into Monday.

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