For DT Mike Patterson, it was much more than that.
Patterson took the field for the first time yesterday since undergoing off-season brain surgery on Jan. 26.
Red flags were raised when Patterson suffered a seizure during training camp in 2011. The seizure was found to have been caused by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which in a nutshell is a faulty connection between blood vessels in the brain.
Patterson was told by doctors that surgery could wait until after the season, so the defensive tackle opted for just that and completed the duration of the Eagles’ 2011 campaign.
Keep in mind that this procedure was not even comparable to the majority of off-season surgeries undergone by NFL players. Most players going in for a procedure are experiencing relatively minor operations like a knee-scope or a ligament repair/replacement.
Patterson had brain surgery–a truly career-threatening, or even life-threatening procedure.
Patterson is not on the Eagles’ active 53-man roster as of now and he is just participating in light, basic workout drills. He is basically just being evaluated by head coach Andy Reid and the Eagles’ coaching staff.
The defensive tackle is very fortunate just to be working out and participating in football activities so soon after such a serious and intense surgery.
“I’m just happy to be out there running around,” said Patterson.
The Eagles will now have three weeks to decide if they are going to add Patterson to the active roster or leave him sidelined, as he is currently on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list.
A return for Patterson would be very beneficial to the Eagles’ defensive front because he has proven to be a real presence on the field throughout his career.
While I’m sure Patterson feels blessed to just be practicing at this point, a chance to play in a regular season game for the Eagles this year would really be the icing on the cake.
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