Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson is reportedly stable, alert and joking after suffering a seizure at training camp on Wednesday.
In what was a terrifying scene, Patterson dropped to the ground between plays and began violently shaking. Trainer Rick Burkholder and his staff tended to him, with help from rookie offensive lineman Danny Watkins, who is a trained firefighter. The seizure lasted about four minutes and at one point Patterson lost consciousness.
Players kneeled nearby and held hands while praying. Then Patterson was placed on a stretcher and lifted into an ambulance.
Patterson – who is 6’1, 300 pounds – is undergoing further tests at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Doctors have refused to speculate on what might have caused the incident. The heat was probably not an issue since temperatures were in the high 70s when the players took the field for their morning session.
Patterson’s agent, JR Ricket said in a statement that the player was in no pain and was doing well. He added that Patterson would be back at practice as soon as doctors cleared him.
The 28-year-old Patterson was the Eagles’ first-round pick out of USC in 2005. He has started 84 games and played in 95, the most of anyone on Philadelphia’s roster. Patterson has long been one of the most consistent defensive linemen in the game, despite never receiving postseason accolades. He signed a seven-year contract extension in 2006, and his current deal lasts through the 2016 season.