Patterson Returns, Thinks He Can Have Impact

Eagles veteran defensive tackle Mike Patterson returned to practice today for the first time since having offseason brain surgery.

As Tim noted earlier, Dr. Robert Spetzler, the Arizona surgeon who performed the surgery, is the person who gave him the OK.

“They just wanted to give it time for the bone to heal,” Patterson said. “They just wanted to give it some time, and they gave it time. They just felt more comfortable for me to play now than earlier.

“I’ve been sending him [Spetzler] X-Rays every few months here and he’s been looking at them, keeping track of them, and he just told me and the Eagles I was ready to play and got cleared.”

Asked if he can return and make an impact this season, Patterson said, “Most definitely.”

But the truth is, it won’t be his call. The Eagles have a three-week period to decide whether he’ll be placed on injured-reserve (ending his season) or the 53-man roster. Today was an important step, but just one of many.

Patterson, who was a first-round pick of the Eagles back in 2005, suffered a seizure during training camp back in 2011. He was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of blood vessels in the brain, but played the entire season (and played well).

“I’m still here,” Patterson said. “I went through surgery. I still come out everyday and work out, still try to be a part of this team any way I can, so I’m just real excited. I’m still here. After eight years, I’m still here. They’ve given me time to heal and given me time to get back out onto the field. I’m really thankful about that and appreciative.

“Big man [Andy Reid], he’s not in a rush to get me back in the field… just wanting to make sure that I’m healthy and taken care of. He’s not going to put me in jeopardy or anything like that, so I feel really appreciative that he’s taking care of me.”

Patterson said he’s been hitting the weight room but needs to get back in football shape. The plan right now is to take it slow and see if he can get back on the field at some point this season.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.