Eagles' Patterson returns to action in style

Mike Patterson sacks Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in the first half of Thursday night's game. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Mike Patterson sacks Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in the first half of Thursday night's game. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 25, 2011

A little more than three weeks after he suffered a seizure and subsequently faced doubts about his future in football, Mike Patterson started for the Eagles in their preseason game against the Browns on Thursday night.

The seven-year defensive end returned in style when he sacked Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy in the first quarter. A sparse, rain-drenched crowd acknowledged Patterson's sack and return with a nice cheer.

Diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation near his brain, Patterson has decided to forgo treatment until after the season. He is currently on medication to treat the condition, but doctors believe another seizure is unlikely.

Patterson suffered a seizure on Aug. 3 during a training camp practice at Lehigh University. He did not practice again until Aug. 20 as he underwent testing and evaluation.

His return Thursday buoyed a defense that was deflated last week by the Steelers, especially the run defense. The first-team unit shut out the Browns in the first half and held their runners to just a few yards on the ground.

The Eagles defensive line is still without a number of noteworthy players.

Trevor Laws was not among coach Andy Reid's Tuesday list of players who would not play against the Browns. But the defensive tackle did not suit up again. Laws has not practiced since the first week of training camp after suffering a hip flexor injury.

Antonio Dixon has yet to play in the preseason as well. The defensive tackle has been sidelined by back spasms. Defensive end Juqua Parker has missed the last two preseason games due to a calf injury.

White Vick

Another week, another Michael Vick controversy.

The latest to-do over the Eagles quarterback was generated by a story in ESPN the Magazine's NFL preview edition, much of which is devoted to Vick.

While there wasn't necessarily anything controversial in an essay titled, "What If Michael Vick Were White?," the headline and a photo illustration that depicts Vick as if he were a Caucasian man caused a minor Internet storm.

The digital rendition of Vick will stand as-is in the print editions of the article, but ESPN took down the picture after the furor. It was later reinstated.

The author of the piece, culture critic Toure', voiced his displeasure over the headline and photo illustration via Twitter. "I asked them not to call it What If Vick Were White but they did," he wrote. "I had no idea they'd put a pic of Vick in whiteface."

Extra points

For the second straight week, the Eagles blocked a field-goal attempt when cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie came off the edge and swatted a 33-yard attempt by Browns kicker Phil Dawson in the first quarter. Last week, cornerback Asante Samuel blocked a Steelers field-goal try. . . . As expected, rookie Jason Kelce started at center ahead of veteran Jamaal Jackson. He had a rough first quarter, whiffing on Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who sacked Vick and forced a fumble. Kelce was later charged with a holding penalty and had a bad snap exchange with Vick. He bounced back, however, with a nice lead block on running back Ronnie Brown's 13-yard touchdown run. . . . Rookie Casey Matthews started at middle linebacker, but his duties were cut in half because rookie Brian Rolle replaced him in the Eagles nickel defense. . . . With Ryan Harris (back spasms) and Winston Justice (knee) still sidelined, King Dunlap earned his second straight start at right tackle. . . . Jarrad Page started at strong safety with Nate Allen still hobbled by his sore knee. . . . Brandon Hughes was the sixth cornerback with the first-team defense. . . . The following also did not dress: wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (illness), wide receiver Steve Smith (knee), safety Marlin Jackson (sports hernia), and defensive end Brandon Graham (knee).

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, jmclane@phillynews.com, or @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.


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