PHILADELPHIA - The most disappointing and frustrating season of Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson's eight-year NFL career is over.
The team placed Patterson on the reserve non-football illness list on Wednesday after he contracted viral pneumonia about a week ago. The Eagles filled his spot on the 53-man roster by promoting fullback/tight end Emil Igwenagu from the practice squad.
Igwenagu, a rookie free agent, became the 16th member of the Eagles to make his NFL debut on Thursday against Cincinnati.
The team initially decided to reduce Patterson's pay for the final three games by 50 percent - they could have decided not to pay him at all under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement - but reversed field on Thursday and opted to pay him his $123,529 per week salary.
"Very happy to report that the long-standing relationship with the Eagles has resulted in a fair resolution in the Mike Patterson matter," Patterson's agent, J.R. Rickert said on Twitter Thursday night.
The Eagles had incurred the wrath of Patterson's agents, Rickert and Peter J. Schaffer, earlier in the week upon learning about the proposed salary reduction.
They were prepared to argue that the Eagles could not prove he caught the virus from outside the practice facilities.
Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder inadvertently hinted Patterson may have gotten sick at the NovaCare Complex because of the team's working environment. While Patterson has been isolated from the team since being sent home last week, Burkholder expressed concern that other players may get sick.
"We're very worried about our team because we live like pack animals in here," Burkholder said on Wednesday.
Patterson also made $61,765 during the first nine weeks of the regular season. He was on the reserve non-football illness list while recovering from offseason brain surgery to fix an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is a tangling of blood vessels and artieries in the brain.
He made his season debut at New Orleans on Nov. 5 and played in five games. He registered nine tackles and earned a sack against Carolina.
"You don't take a guy who is a respected member, has been a respected contributor or who has been through the level of personal issue and tragedy that he has been through and who has fought hard to come back and play for you - and play at a pretty good level - you don't do this to him," Rickert told Comcast Sportsnet in Philadelphia on Wednesday. "That's not how clubs treat guys."
Under the terms of the new CBA established last year, the Eagles are not required to pay him anything.
Article 20, Section 3 of the CBA states: "A player who is placed on a Nonfootball injury or Illness list ("N-F/I") is not entitled to any compensation under his contract while on such list."
The Eagles worked out a deal earlier this season with tackle Jason Peters, who has spent the entire season on the NFI list after rupturing his left Achilles' tendon while working out at home in the offseason, then tore it again in April.
The Eagles could have withheld his entire $7.9 million base salary, but ESPN reported that they only deducted the $3.25 million that they are paying Demetress Bell.
Riley Cooper stepping up
Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper made his third straight start against the Bengals in place of DeSean Jackson, who was placed on injured reserve last month with broken ribs.
Cooper made an early impact against the Bengals, catching an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Foles in the second quarter. He finished the game with three catches for 20 yards.
The third-year veteran entered the game with 16 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns this season. In the last three games, he has emerged as one of Foles' favorite targets.
"We have a good rapport going," Cooper said Tuesday. "He trusts me and I trust him. Now I just want to keep it going for the rest of the season."
Cooper got off to a slow start this year.
The 6-foot-3, 222-pounder missed the first five games this season after suffering a broken collarbone, but soon asserted himself as one of the Eagles' top wideouts with Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant.
"I missed a few games, but I came back strong and came back better," Cooper said. "Everything happens for a reason. I've just kept working hard to make myself a total wide receiver. I pride myself on my ability to do everything."
Out of action
Tight end Brent Celek (concussion), safety Kurt Coleman (sternum contusion), running back LeSean McCoy (concussion) and quarterback Michael Vick (concussion) were all deactivated Thursday because of injuries.
Vick, who has not played since suffering a concussion on Nov. 11, is expected to be cleared to play in the Eagles' next game against Washington on Dec. 23. If he is in uniform against the Redskins, however, it will be as a backup. Foles is scheduled to start the rest of the season.
Clay Harbor and Colt Anderson started at tight end and free safety, respectively. Igwenagu served as Harbor's backup.
Other inactives Thursday: tackle Matt Kopa, running back Chris Polk and wide receiver Greg Salas.
Bumps and bruises
Fullback Stanley Havili left the game in the second quarter with a strained hamstring. Igwenagu replaced him.
The Eagles play their final home game of the season against the Redskins on Sunday, Dec. 23 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Redskins won the first meeting this season with a 31-6 victory at FedEx Field on Nov. 18. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III threw four touchdown passes while registering a perfect quarterback efficiency rating of 158.3.
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