Cowboys' McCarthy says LB Vander Esch is "ahead of schedule"


DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is inching closer to getting on the football field.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday that linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is "ahead of schedule" and didn't rule him out for Sunday's game vs the Giants.

McCarthy added that Vander Esch will participate in a portion of the team's individual drills at practice today.

"I would say he's ahead of schedule. He's definitely chomping at the bit to get back. Obviously, there's a medical procedure and process he must go through and clear. The doctors and the trainers feel really good about where he is. If I would go off my personal communication with him he would have played in week 2. He's really pushing it and wants to get back, but we have to make sure he's clear and is ready to go."

When asked if Vander Esch could play in Sunday's game, McCarthy said he wasn't ruling it out, but they want to see how he looks in pads Thursday before making any determinations.

NFL Network reporter Jane Slater reported Wednesday on the K&C Masterpiece that Vander Esch is still three to four weeks away from returning.

Vander Esch underwent surgery to repair his fractured clavicle after the suffered the injury in the Cowboys Week 1 loss to the Rams.

The initial timeline called for Vander Esch to miss six to eight weeks.

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