Jackson returns to practice for Eagles, Patterson takes field

So much for DeSean Jackson falling behind during his holdout.

The Eagles' electrifying wide receiver made a series of sensational catches Saturday morning, Jackson's first practice since he ended his 11-day holdout Monday.

It was Jackson's first chance to work against the Eagles' three-headed cornerback monster of Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Jackson picked up right where he left off at the end of his record-setting 2010 Pro Bowl season.

Jackson made two long touchdown catches, both times working against Samuel, his close friend and a four-time Pro Bowl defensive back.

"Any time I get to go against him, I like to work on my game just as well as he likes to go against me, because he probably won't face any other receivers as fast as me," Jackson said. "We were able to get in some good work vs. each other. I got some work against Nnamdi, too, today. It's great for me to improve. All that helps toward my game."

Jackson has scored 26 touchdowns in three seasons, and 19 of them have gone for at least 30 yards.

"He's a big part of the team," Samuel said. "It's great to get a special talent out there to compete with."

Jackson has 110 catches for 2,223 yards and 15 touchdowns as a receiver the last two years and already owns the franchise record with four punt returns for touchdowns.

"It's great to get DeSean back," quarterback Michael Vick said. "The connection that we were able to develop last year and just today out there on the field, it's extraordinary, and I look forward to working with him all year. I'm glad he's on my team."

So is coach Andy Reid, whose teams have never missed the playoffs since the Eagles drafted Jackson.

"He's got fresh legs compared to the other guys, who are tired," Reid said. "He always has a little bounce in his step anyway. He's got that great speed, and the nice part is that you can tell he's been working. He was able to function at a high level out here, and that's a plus."

Jackson spent his holdout in his native Southern California. After participating in a team-organized autograph session, Jackson signed additional autographs for several minutes and talked and joked with several youngsters attending practice before meeting with the media.

"Actually, it was a lot of fun," Jackson said. "Felt good to get back in the swing of things. My teammates were happy to have me back. I've just got to get everything on the run. My legs are feeling good. I'm feeling fresh, ready to get back out there and begin contributing to my team."

Another welcome sight for the Eagles on Saturday was the return of defensive tackle Mike Patterson, who did drills on a side field during practice, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Reid said Patterson, who had not practiced since he collapsed and suffered a seizure during drills on Aug. 3, has been cleared to take part in conditioning but it still being held out of practices.

"He's going to do that and he's got to get himself back into shape," Reid said of Patterson doing drills. "It'll probably be a week or so, as we're looking at it now. It gives the doctors a chance to continue to evaluate him and for him to get back to where he feels he can get back out there and play."

Asked if that means Patterson has a chance to return to action in a week, Reid said, "We're just holding off on the other part."

Patterson didn't answer questions, but he smiled broadly and told reporters, "I feel great," while leaving the practice field. 

The 300-pound defensive tackle was diagnosed with a brain AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, which is a prenatal condition in which blood travels abnormally between the arteries and veins. Patterson has played more games as an Eagle than anybody currently on the team.

Reid said he did not have an update on wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, out with an unspecified illness, and didn't know when he might return to camp.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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