Who Goes to Make Room for Patterson?

Defensive tackle Mike Patterson is expected to practice for the first time in 2012. (Michael Bryant/Staff file photo)

It seems very likely that defensive tackle Mike Patterson will join the Eagles' 53-man roster this week or next week, as Patterson completes his comeback from offseason brain surgery. Who leaves the roster when Patterson returns?

The Eagles have gone heavy on the d-line this season, but haven't gotten the results they'd hoped for at their deepest position. Phillip Hunt, who put together such an impressive preseason, has seen his playing time pretty much disappear. Until the Atlanta game, Hunt was at least playing just about every special teams snap, but those opportunities have decreased now, as well. Hunt played just three snaps total against Atlanta, all on special teams.

Veteran Darryl Tapp got 18 defensive snaps against the Falcons and didn't do that much with them. Derek Landri has been supplanted as a starter by Fletcher Cox and has been a disappointment this season, but he still played 32 snaps against Atlanta; kicking him to the curb would be a surprise right now.

Of course, the roster spot wouldn't have to come from the defensive line, particularly if coaches aren't sure how much Patterson can contribute. Running back Dion Lewis has been active for one game all season. If Damaris Johnson makes progress as a punt returner in New Orleans, Mardy Gilyard's spot could be up for grabs.