Eagles Notes: Patterson to see some action

Defensive tackle Mike Patterson will play against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, his first game action of the year.
Defensive tackle Mike Patterson will play against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, his first game action of the year. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 24, 2011

Mike Patterson will be back on the field Thursday for his first live competition since his seizure Aug. 3.

"It's been a long time since I've been able to play football, so I'll just be excited to be back out there with the guys, fans cheering and stuff like that," Patterson said Tuesday. "Emotionally, I'll be really excited."

Patterson has been diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of blood vessels in the brain, but surgery can wait until after the season. He is taking anti-seizure medication, and doctors have cleared him.

"They tell me I can go out there and play," he said. "If I couldn't do it 100 percent, I wouldn't do it at all."

Coach Andy Reid said Patterson will play but wouldn't say for how long. It will depend on how the tackle feels in his first game back.

"He's had a good week of practice, and he's ready to go," Reid said. "We'll treat him like it's the first preseason game that he's played."

Patterson said he'll have no problem forgetting about his ailment and focusing on the game.

"That's the good thing about football. It's easy to zone everything out and just go out there and play," he said.

Defensive changes

Reid may try some different look at safety and linebacker Thursday. Safety Jarrad Page will start, and rookie linebacker Brian Rolle said he will get some snaps with the first team nickel defense.

Rolle, a sixth round pick, is listed at 5-foot-10 but looks far shorter in person.

Casey Matthews will remain with the first team base defense.

Page will step in for Nate Allen, whose recovery from his torn patellar tendon has slowed him down. Reid said he just wants to give Allen time to rest so that he's "ready to roll."

Tackle update

King Dunlap will start at right tackle, but newly re-signed Reggie Wells will get a look there as well. Wells was on the team as a guard last year but played very little.

"Right guard was a different position for me," Wells said. "I played right tackle [in the past] way more than I played right guard."

He hopes to compete to start at tackle.

"At this point I'm coming in to battle, and I think that's why they brought me here," Wells said.

Tackle Ryan Harris won't play as he continues to deal with back spasms. Harris is seeing a back specialist, Reid said. He had been out since the Eagles Aug. 11 preseason game against Baltimore except for one practice coaches said he participated in while the media was barred.

Winston Justice, last year's starting right tackle, is making progress, Reid said, and had a good workout Monday. Justice is out after offseason knee surgery.

"There's a chance he comes back next week, at least in practice," Reid said.

QB question

The Eagles starters will play three quarters Thursday. Vince Young will get the first shot at quarterback in the fourth quarter, but Mike Kafka may get time there, too, Reid said.

Kafka has looked strong in the preseason and may push for the second quarterback spot. "He's done a nice job," Reid said.

Extra Points

Jamaal Jackson, in a competition for a starting job at center, could also play guard if needed, Reid said. . . . Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, working his way back into shape after missing training camp, won't play Thursday. Neither will defensive tackle Antonio Dixon (back), defensive end Juqua Parker (calf) or wide receiver Steve Smith (knee). . . . Michael Vick responded to a dare from Chad Ochocinco, who challenged the quarterback to a game of Madden NFL '12, with the loser donating a game check to charity. "Chad don't want to play me, man," Vick said, adding that earlier they were supposed to play FIFA, a soccer video game, and Ochocinco never responded.

Eagles Notes:

Patterson to see live action for the first time since his seizure. C4.

Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, jtamari@phillynews.com or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.

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