Defensive tackle Mike Patterson will make his season debut Monday night in New Orleans after he was activated from the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list on Saturday. Linebacker Jason Williams was released to make room for Patterson.
Patterson was sidelined after he underwent offseason surgery to correct a brain condition. He returned to practice last week and after Saturday's practice said he's ready to play.
"More than anything, I'm excited to be out there," Patterson said. "It's a fun game. I really love it. It's fun to play and I just feel real happy out there."
The longest-tenured member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Patterson has been one of the underrated players of the entire Reid era in Philadelphia. The team's first-round pick in 2005 has been productive, reliable and a stand-up guy in the locker room. Patterson's brain condition was discovered after he experienced a seizure during Training Camp in 2011. Through careful watch and medication, Patterson played in 15 games last season and recorded 66 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Patterson was honored by his teammates with the Ed Block Courage Award following the season. Prior to this year, Patterson had missed just two games in his career and is among the franchise leaders for most games played by a defensive lineman.
"I'm just going to be ready," Patterson said. "I've been working out this whole offseason and even with these last two weeks of practice I've been going out there running around and trying to get things going right for me. I'll be ready and expect that they'll call my number."
The Eagles will need Patterson because fellow defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins is questionable with a knee injury. Jenkins practiced fully on Friday and Saturday and said that he will play. Patterson said his only concern going into the game is making sure he keeps up with the speed of it. At most, Patterson said he only expects to play a few snaps.
Even though he hasn't played to this point, Patterson was with the squad both at home and on the road as he wanted to remain around his teammates.
"I wanted to be a part of the team, be around the guys and what's going on," he said. "Kind of stay in tune with what's going on and keep up with plays. See what adjustments we're doing just so I don't fall far behind when I got back."
Back in Training Camp, it seemed as if there was a chance Patterson would not play at all in 2012 following the surgery. As the Eagles try to get their season back on track, they will get an emotional boost from one of the leaders of the team.
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