PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles will be missing their most experienced defensive tackle for at least the first six weeks of the regular season.
Mike Patterson, the team's first-round draft pick in 2005, was placed on the reserve non-football injury list Monday while he continues to recover from offseason brain surgery. As a result, he won't be eligible to start practicing with the team until at least week six of the season. After week nine, the Eagles will have to decide whether to promote him to the active roster or end his season by placing him on injured reserve.
"I most definitely plan on playing football again," Patterson said Monday. "I feel like I'm always ready to play. I don't know when it's going to happen, but there is no doubt about my ability to come back."
The Eagles also made some other roster moves Monday in order to reach the league-mandated limit of 75 players. Tackle Jason Peters, who twice ruptured his left Achilles' tendon during the offseason, was placed on the reserve non-football injury list and is in the same situation as Patterson.
Also, the team placed center/guard Mike Gibson on injured reserve with a hip flexor injury and released rookie free agent wide receiver Jamel Hamler.
Patterson, who had started 106 regular-season and playoff games in seven seasons, underwent surgery on Jan. 26 in Phoenix to repair an arteriovenus malformation (AVM) that caused the 28-year-old to suffer a seizure during training camp last summer. The AVM was removed, but the section of Patterson's skull that neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Spetzler removed during the operation has not yet sufficiently healed for him to play football again.
"Mike P. has a lot of heart," Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said Monday. "(Losing him for at least the first six weeks of the season) hurts. But we're very fortunate to have a few defensive linemen competing for (roster) spots right now."