BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson likely will stay overnight at a hospital after suffering a seizure at training camp at Lehigh University, trainer Rick Burkholder said Wednesday.
Patterson dropped to the ground between plays during a morning practice, and the player began violently shaking. He was immediately tended to by Burkholder and his staff, with assistance from rookie offensive lineman Danny Watkins, a trained firefighter.
Burkholder said the 6-foot-1, 300-pound Patterson was undergoing further tests at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
“Chances are really good we’re going to keep him in overnight for observation,” Burkholder said. “He’s there with his wife. The only thing that we’ve really ruled out, he didn’t have any bleeding in his brain or anything like that. The bleeding that some of you saw was that he bit his tongue, they’ve confirmed that, and they’re running more tests on him right now.
“But he’s very stable. He wants to come back to training camp, but he’s over there being observed, but that’s pretty normal for somebody who has a seizure. Standard protocol says keep him in overnight to watch him and keep some monitors on him and whatnot.”
Patterson’s agent JR Ricket said in a statement that the player is “in no pain and doing well.”
“We are very grateful for everyone’s prayers and support,” he added. “Mike will be back at practice as soon as the doctors clear him.”
Burkholder said the seizure lasted about four minutes, and Patterson lost consciousness at one point as he was on the ground.
As players kneeled nearby, holding hands and praying, an ambulance arrived and Patterson was placed on a stretcher and lifted into the ambulance.
The linemen resumed practice after about 15 minutes. The skill position players did 7-on-7 drills on another field while Patterson was down.
“We were all on edge a little bit and Rick just kind of calmed the situation down,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “One thing I think he did a phenomenal job with was evaluating it, evaluating the situation in a calm way.”
It was a cool day at camp. Temperatures were in the high 70s when the players took the field for their morning session.
Patterson, 28, was the Eagles’ first-round pick out of Southern California in 2005. He’s started 84 games and played in 95, the most of anybody on the current roster.
Burkholder said there’s no timetable for Patterson’s return.
“We’ll turn that over to the neurologists and those people who are absolute experts,” he said. “It’s not like hamstring strains. We don’t see tons of seizures in our sport, so that’s why I have a whole team of physicians, and Lehigh Valley Hospital has a great neuro department, so we’re allowing them to handle the case now and then we’ll get him to see our docs down at the Pennsylvania Hospital eventually.”