Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson had removed an arteriovenous malformation on Jan. 26 at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. It was thought at the time that the complex but successful surgery would get Patterson back in time for the start of training camp in July.
But Andy Reid offered some words of caution on Monday afternoon.
Patterson, who suffered a seizure at the start of last year’s training camp, came back and played with the dangerous AVM, providing the Eagles with solid production in the middle of a potent defensive line. But it’s currently unclear just much much the former first-round pick out of USC can give the Eagles, at least at the start of the 2012 season.
According to CSN’s Reuben Frank, Patterson will unsurprisingly not participate in the team’s mini-camps, but that his status is uncertain when the Eagles hit Lehigh is a bit of a shock.
Patterson isn’t a flashy or standout player, but he’s reliable and an extended absence would be a big blow to the Eagles’ defensive front.
If Patterson does miss an extended period of time it could give the fading Antonio Dixon new life and open the door for the emerging Cedric Thornton to get extra snaps.
Of course, the most interesting development is what this may do for 2012 first-round draft pick Fletcher Cox. Cox was impressive this weekend running around in shorts, but he figured to work his way into the lineup as part of a rotation. But if Patterson can’t go, Cox may find himself starting Week One. Stay tuned.