As the twelfth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is being counted on to contribute to the Philadelphia Eagles’ ‘wide nine’ defense fairly early in his career.
With the news today coming out of training camp concerning Mike Patterson, incumbent starter at tackle, Cox’s contributions may need to come earlier.
Patterson, the first round pick of Philadelphia’s in 2005, had brain surgery this offseason to remove an arteriovenous malformation. Patterson collapsed at practice on August 3, 2011 with a seizure related to the condition. Bleeding from the mouth after biting his tongue, Patterson suffered through the seizure for four minutes while rookie lineman Danny Watkins, a firefighter trained in CPR, provided first response.
Amazingly, Patterson started in fifteen games during the 2011 season, garnering twenty-six tackles and two and a half sacks. Patterson had played in 110 of a possible 112 games since joining the Eagles in 2005.
With the surgery complet...