Last year, Philadelphia Eagles fans were dealt shocking news during the team’s training camp when defensive tackle Mike Patterson was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is essentially a tangle of blood vessels in the skull.
Patterson, a former first-round pick of the team back in 2005, had suffered a seizure in summer practice and was taken to the hospital. He ended up playing in 15 games, registering 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 26 tackles.
But, Patterson may not be medically cleared to play football in 2012, and he may miss a majority of the season. Patterson has been a mainstay in the interior part of the Eagles’ defensive line over the last seven years, and there is a chance his injury may be career-threatening.
With an ACL injury or a torn Achilles tendon, it’s easy to look at the recovery times of other athletes and see when they got back to full form. But there aren’t too many cases of a player dealing with an AVM in his skull, and Patterson will have to take awhile to recuperate.
He initially had surgery back in January, but the team and head trainer Rick Burkholder want Patterson to spend more time recovering.
The Eagles did draft Mississippi State standout defensive tackle Fletcher Cox with their first-round pick this past season, and now Cox will likely start with Patterson out. The Eagles have a superb defensive line with Cullen Jenkins and Cox, plus Derek Landri and Antonio Dixon as the backups.
On the edge, the Eagles have a tremendous group of pass rushers in Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Philip Hunt and Darryl Tapp.
Personally, I think it might be a good idea for Patterson to at least start the season on the Physically Unable to Play (PUP) list, or even take a year off. He certainly doesn’t want to jeopardize his life by playing such a violent sport like football, especially when he’s had a solid career and he’s made enough money to be financially secure for life.