Two years ago, Mike Patterson's life was in serious jeopardy when he collapses at the Philadelphia Eagles training camp and was being rushed to the hospital after suffering a seizure on the field. Despite going against doctors orders, Patterson played through the 2011 season without any instances with a rare blood disorder, but then had to have brain surgery in January or 2012 to help correct the problem.
Patterson suffered another seizure in 2012 and dealt with a severe case of pneumonia; which kept him out for most of the season and was only active for five games. The Eagles released Patterson this past February, but was scooped up by the New York Giants in the off-season to bolster their defensive line depth and add in a veteran who can bring something to the middle of the group.
Right now, Patterson is challenging Marvin Austin for a roster spot and the Giants have liked what they have seen from the soon-to-be 30-year-old, who has worked mostly with the second team of the defense, but really feels like he can contribute a big part to the team.
"I don’t necessarily feel pressure," said Patterson, who has been working with the second team most of camp. "Naturally, I’m a little curious but nothing too disconcerting. I still have a belief that I can play this game. That’s where my mind-set is right now. I know a lot of teams were probably wondering if I would be able to play this season. But I still love this game and I want to play."
Up until 2012, Patterson had always been a consistent part of the Eagles depth chart and defensive line; playing in at least 15 games since being drafted in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Patterson has 16.5 career sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception in the eight seasons he's been a pro, but didn't survive the Eagles barrage of roster cuts when the team's new regime came into town.
Patterson wasn't the only defensive lineman the Giants picked up from their NFC East rivals, as Patterson's teammate Cullen Jenkins was signed in March to a three-year deal and will likely be starting for the Giants alongside Linval Joseph at defensive tackle.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin told Dave Hutchinson of the Newark-Star Ledger that he still thinks Patterson can compete at a high level and has played well in the summer so far for the Giants.
"He has done pretty well," coach Tom Coughlin said.
The Giants will have Jenkins and Joseph as the starters with veteran Shaun Rogers and rookie draft pick Johnathan Hankins the next in line after them as the backups with maybe one spot left which could come down to Patterson or Austin. Some people think that it will be Patterson, although Austin hasn't gone down with a fight yet, as he did impress the coaches in their last preseason game against the New York Jets.
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