Eagles Receive Reinforcement for Struggling Defensive Line, but Will It Be Enough?

Eagles Receive Reinforcement for Struggling Defensive Line, but Will It Be Enough?

In a bit of a surprising development, Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson returned to practice on Monday, and could be activated to the 53-man roster anytime in the next three weeks. Patterson was placed on the non-football injury list at the beginning of training camp following off-season brain surgery.

Patt had hoped to be ready for the beginning of the season, and wasn't experiencing ill-effects from the surgery or anything like that, but his doctors held him out of action as a precautionary measure. The surgery involved a crainiotomy -- temporarily removing a piece of the skull to access the brain -- which they were concerned had not completely healed yet.

Apparently doctors have since given Patterson the OK, and he is eligible to come off of the NFI list. The Eagles now have three weeks to activate him.

The eight-year veteran's return to the lineup would be a welcome sight. It's always a plus when the team can add another quality player into the rotation, and it's just nice to see a longtime Bird overcome a scary and potentially life-threatening condition.

As for how much Patt's return will help the Eagles, it's hard to say. You can't count on much of a boost for a pass rush that has failed to sack the quarterback for three games running, at least not directly. Patterson's 2.5 sacks last season were his most since '07, when he set a career high with 4.0.

If nothing else, Patterson's return should keep the interior of the defensive line a little fresher. After having tremendous seasons in 2011, both Cullen Jenkins and Derek Landri have been relatively quiet so far this season, which is probably phrasing it kindly. Rookie Fletcher Cox has been impressive, but maybe they'll all get a bounce in production from Patterson's presence.

If Patterson is activated, of course. There is no guarantee the Eagles will, but his practicing seems to indicate he will be added to the roster sooner rather than later. Now it will be interesting to see how soon he returns, and who is cut loose to make room.

You'll love Dario Saric even more after watching him on PST's Quick 6

You'll love Dario Saric even more after watching him on PST's Quick 6

We love you, Dario Saric.

For you being you, and not just a significant part of the Sixers' process.

And if you don't enjoy the Croatian Sensation, you most certainly will after watching him open up during a fun game of "Quick Six" on CSN's Philly Sports Talk.

From orange juice and beer, to his gluteus and T.J. McConnell's hair, Saric discussed plenty.

The questions had him feeling all over the place. But he was terrific.

Dario Saric, Philadelphia Sixers, Philadelphia 76ers, Philly Sports Talk

For the full video, watch above.

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry from how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 — the last time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a gigantic one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.