Cowboys' Sean Lee hopes to play

Updated: November 3, 2011, 2:16 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Sean Lee is determined to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks despite a dislocated left wrist.

While he might not be able to play Sunday, Lee is optimistic that he will not need to undergo season-ending surgery.

"I'm going to exhaust every opportunity to play as soon as possible," Lee told ESPNDallas.com before going into the trainer's room Wednesday. "Obviously, I want to play. I'm here to play football, and I'll do whatever it takes to play. At the same point, I have to listen to doctors on what I'm able to do and whether is going to be functional."

Lee injured the wrist trying to tackle quarterback Michael Vick on the final play in the first quarter of last week's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He did not practice Wednesday and has yet to be fitted for a cast because of the swelling in the wrist.

Lee, a second-round pick who has emerged as a star in his second season after an injury-plagued rookie campaign, intends to get a second opinion from a wrist specialist. However, Lee said that he doesn't anticipate getting any information that would change his intent to play with a cast.

"The plan is to try to play in a cast, but that also depends on how I heal and how functional I am," Lee said. "I'm working to get better right now. I'm going to do whatever I can to get ready for this game. I'm going to assess it toward the end of the week and see how the hand and wrist function and whether I'm ready to go."

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported earlier Wednesday that the injury would keep Lee out of Sunday's game. On Monday, a league source familiar with such injuries told ESPNDallas.com that surgery could end Lee's season.

Lee leads the Cowboys with 73 tackles, according to the coaches' count, 34 more than any other teammate. He also leads the team with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries and has a team-high-tying four tackles for a loss. Veteran inside linebackers Bradie James and Keith Brooking have been splitting time next to Lee. They are preparing for their playing time to increase significantly against the Seahawks.

The Cowboys are also trying to get rookie second-round pick Bruce Carter ready to contribute on defense. Carter, who had been on the non-football injury list while recovering from a knee injury suffered at North Carolina, was limited to special teams in his NFL debut last week.

"We're going to have to do it by committee, because Sean Lee was balling out of control," James said.

However, Lee hopes that he will be able to practice later this week and play against the Seahawks.

"I'm going to exhaust everything possible to try to make sure I'm playing this week," Lee said. "If not (this week), hopefully playing in the weeks coming up."

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. Adam Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider.