While Mike Patterson might look perfectly healthy to the naked eye, the Eagles incumbent starter at defensive tackle will start out the season on the reserve/non-football injury list after a January brain surgery.
Patterson suffered seizures during training camp last year, and although he was able to play for the Eagles in 2011, he had surgery to fix the problem shortly after the season ended. The doctor who performed the surgery says his skull has yet to heal:
"He's the guy who cut my head open," Patterson said, philosophically. "I'll wait and see what he says."
The evidence surrounding the current decision to sideline Patterson is unclear. Patterson said he has not had an X-ray since June.
"We're still talking to him," said Patterson, who is content to wait. "It just wouldn't be smart. Head trauma is a sensitive subject in the NFL."
Although nobody will be happy Patterson is sitting, it's probably the best call. Patterson doesn't have a concussion, but considering how much information we're still learning -- disturbing information, generally -- about the brain trauma suffered by NFL players, the Eagles and Patterson should take precaution to make sure his brain is as safe as it can be.
Patterson won't count as a roster spot for the Eagles as they trim their roster, but if he is not activated by Nov. 5, he will not play this season. His status on the non-football injury list means he is not allowed to practice with the team until Oct. 16.