Cowboys LB Lee out against Packers with injury

Cowboys LB Lee out against Packers with injury

Published Dec. 13, 2013 2:20 p.m. ET

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys have ruled middle linebacker Sean Lee out for this weekend's game against the Packers, reports citing a "sprained ligament in his neck.'' But sources tell FOX Sports Southwest that Lee may be undergoing treatment for a neuropraxia-type condition – in this case, nerve compression along the spinal cord.

This will mark Lee's third missed game of this season and the 16th of his possible 62 career games. Lee is well-aware of how his injury absences impact his team's struggling defense.

"I have to find a way to stay out there, and I've said that over and over again,'' Lee said earlier this week, after practicing on Wednesday and Thursday. "For me, that's the most frustrating part. I want to be out there in the worst way and I continuously seem to have issues not being on the field.''

This latest issue occurred Monday in Chicago. Lee injured his neck on the first play of the game, tried to stay in, and in the third quarter got dinged again before leaving. Lee thought he was on-track to participate this week but was absent from Friday's workout.
The Cowboys say a Tuesday MRI showed no structural damage – which is odd because a "sprained ligament in his neck'' would've likely shown up in an MRI. Meanwhile, Lee himself compares the injury to a "stinger.''
"It is probably similar to a stinger,'' he said. "Like a muscle spasm where you're neck locks up pretty good can can't move it for a about a minute and then hitting kind of aggravates it. The more you hit the more it kind of locks up to you."

A stinger is nerve-related, and sounds milder than the term "neuropraxia.'' But if that is the problem, however temporary, it can be a serious one.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys' beleaguered defense will start Justin Durant in the middle. He, too, is dealing with a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the last three games.