Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson, who returned to the field 17 days after suffering a seizure during training camp, has been named the team's recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.
The award honors those National Football League players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. They are selected in a vote by their teammates for team effort as well as individual performance.
During a training camp practice on August 3, Patterson suffered a seizure and was taken to the hospital. He was later diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on his brain – a tangle of blood vessels. He visited with four doctors who specialize in AVM cases and also visited with a seizure specialist. All of the doctors cleared him to return to the field. Patterson decided to delay any procedures to fix the AVM until after the season.
He has started in all 14 games so far this year, registering 58 tackles and 2.5 sacks, his highest sack total since having 4.0 in 2007.
"I’ve been associated with this award for my 19 years in the National Football League and Mike is one of the most deserving candidates that I have ever been around,” said head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder. “His courage to play with this condition and to put off any further procedures until the offseason shows his commitment to his teammates and to the Philadelphia Eagles.”
Patterson and the winners form each of the other 31 teams will be honored in Baltimore at the annual banquet on March 13.