SAN ANTONIO – Second-round linebacker Sean Lee doesn't expect to practice for a few more days.
A strained quadriceps forced Lee to the sideline for Tuesday’s two practices. He hopes to be back on the field this weekend.
“It’s one of those things you’ve got to nip in the bud before it gets worse, but I’m rehabbing it nonstop and I’m going to try to get back as soon as possible,” Lee said. “Hopefully it’ll be as soon as possible, because you can’t get better sitting on the sideline. You can’t help the team when sitting on the sideline.”
Concerns about Lee’s right knee caused the linebacker the Cowboys graded as the No. 16 prospect on their board to slide toward the bottom of the second round. He had to redshirt two years ago at Penn State after tearing up the knee during spring drills.
The quadriceps injury isn’t considered serious, but Lee is rather perturbed about missing practices.
“It’s frustrating because you see guys making progressions when you’re on the sideline and you want to be out there competing every day,” Lee said. “That’s something I haven’t had a chance to do, but like I said, this is something you’ve got to take care of early or it can get worse.”
Linebackers coach Reggie Herring isn’t concerned that Lee, who learned the defensive scheme during OTAs and minicamp, will take a step back while sitting out to rest his quad.
“We know his character and his work ethic,” Herring said. “He’ll do everything he can to get back as fast as possible. That’s the first thing. The second thing is he’s a student of the game.
“Before he got hurt, he knew what to do, how to do it. He was having a nice camp. We’ve got a lot of confidence in his ability to know what to do. He studies the game. I would expect [after] the time that he’s missed, he will make a fast recovery. I would bet money on that.”
Herring lobbied hard for the Cowboys to draft Lee, and he had a lot of company among the team’s coaching staff, scouting department and front office.
Word is that Patrick Willis, San Francisco’s Pro Bowler, is the only inside linebacker the Cowboys gave a better grade than Lee in recent drafts.
Has Lee been everything Herring expected?
“That’s like asking you about your wife. Was she everything you expected after three months?” Herring cracked. “I mean, we gotta date a little bit here. We gotta play a game first.
“We’re very excited about Sean. I’m not going to declare anybody anything until they line up against NFL competition and prove it. Right now, he’s done a nice job at practice. He’s doing what we asked of him. He’s shown nice ability in the run and pass game. He’s a smart, instinctive player. So far, he’s everything we thought he’d be. So far. Now, let’s go play a few games and make an evaluation.”
For now, Lee’s focus in on returning to the practice field.