The Detroit Lions are going to host free-agent defensive tackle Mike Patterson for a visit, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Patterson was just released by the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday after spending eight seasons with the team.
Patterson, who appeared in only five games for the Eagles last season, just had brain surgery in January 2012. He had a seizure at practice during training camp in 2011, and it was determined that he had a "prenatal condition in which blood travels abnormally between the arteries and veins," according to ESPN. He miraculously returned in the middle of last season before viral pneumonia landed him in the hospital.
Schefter reports that Patterson "is said to feel better than he has in three years and wants to continue playing," hence the visit being set up with the Lions. Detroit is in need of defensive tackle depth with Corey Williams and Sammie Hill hitting free agency this year. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are locked in as the starters, but depth is pretty thin with Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Jimmy Saddler-McQueen being the only other defensive tackles on the roster right now.
Before 2012, Patterson put up pretty consistent numbers for the Eagles, appearing in all but two games in seven seasons. Given what's happened with his health in the last year, his value doesn't exactly seem very high. As a result, this could be a situation where the Lions are able to land him at an affordable cost to bolster their depth at defensive tackle for next season.