Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson couldn't have hoped for a more satisfying return to NFL action than last Thursday's 24-14 preseason victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Three weeks after suffering a sudden, terrifying seizure that had the seventh-year pro fearing for his life, and later for his playing career, Patterson recorded a sack of Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in the first quarter.
"Oh, that's a good thing any time. Playoffs. Preseason. It doesn't matter," Patterson told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday. "Getting a sack is good."
Doctors found that Patterson has a condition called arteriovenous malformation, which can cut off or limit blood flow in the vessels and arteries between the skull and the brain. But the specialists who examined Patterson all said his seizures could be controlled with medication and that his condition wouldn't be affected by playing football.
"At first, you kind of question it because it's something to do with your head," Patterson told the Inquirer. "But when they told me football would have no effect on it, it became easy for me to tune everything out, and just go play. You have to treat it that way, because if you let it slip in and you think about it, then you're going to keep thinking about it.
"I had butterflies about getting back on the field. It had been a while since we'd been together as a group. I was nervous to get back on the field," Patterson said. "But I'd been practicing for the last week, so any questions are out of my mind now."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.