Eagles head coach Andy Reid confirmed today that defensive tackle Mike Patterson could miss the entire season as he recovers from offseason brain surgery.
“I think that’s going to be an extended time here,” Reid said. “We’ve just got to see how that goes, if he’s able to go at all this year. We just have to see how that works out. We’ll take checkups in increments here, but right now, it’s going to be awhile.”
It seems clear that the Eagles are not counting on Patterson, but will wait and see how things play out.
Patterson suffered a seizure during training camp in 2011. He played the entire season before undergoing brain surgery in the offseason. On the first day of training camp this summer, Reid announced that Patterson would not participate. But the veteran defensive tackle still stayed at Lehigh, worked on conditioning and helping his teammates.
“He doesn’t have to come to these rookie meetings at night, in the afternoon,” defensive line coach Jim Washburn said last month. “He doesn’t have to be there. I said ‘Mike, you don’t have to be there.’ He said, ‘Well I like to be there.’ He likes football. He’s a good one, god dangit, we miss him now.”
Among Eagles defensive linemen, only Jason Babin played more snaps than Patterson last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Patterson seemed to adjust well to Washburn’s style, finishing tied for third on the team with 24 quarterback hurries.
The Eagles drafted Fletcher Cox in the first round of April’s draft. They also brought Derek Landri back and re-structured Cullen Jenkins’ contract in the offseason.
For now, Cox and Landri are the starting defensive tackles. Jenkins has been playing left defensive end with the first team while Babin recovers from a calf strain. Antonio Dixon and Cedric Thornton have been rotating in with the second group. All five defensive tackles (Cox, Jenkins, Landri, Dixon, Thornton) could make the roster. If the Eagles only keep four, Dixon will likely be the odd man out.
The Eagles selected Patterson with the 31st pick in the first round back in 2005. He’s started 99 games and appeared in 110 in seven NFL seasons.
OTHER INJURY UPDATES
*Babin has “a good chance of being back Week 1,” Reid said. The Eagles starting defensive end has been rehabbing a calf strain he suffered early in camp.
* Riley Cooper is making progress from surgery to repair a fractured collarbone, but it’s unlikely that he’s ready for Week 1. “We’ll see. That’ll be a struggle,” Reid said. “I wouldn’t expect him the first game. We’ll see what the doctors say on it.”
* Mike Kafka will be checked out by doctors and has a chance to return to practice Monday.
* Casey Matthews is recovering from a high ankle sprain and likely won’t play Week 1. “That’ll be a struggle to get him ready for the first game, but he stands a chance there,” Reid said.
* Michael Vick was able to throw a little bit today and could be on the field for Flight Night.
* Colt Anderson is making progress, but is not ready yet. “He’s getting there. I’m not sure he’s quite there yet, but he’s made a lot of progress,” Reid said. “I think it’s just a matter of a little bit of time here.”
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