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.

Carson Wentz falls far behind Elliott, Prescott in Rookie of Year odds

Carson Wentz falls far behind Elliott, Prescott in Rookie of Year odds

Carson Wentz's Rookie of the Year odds took a hit, the Eagles' Super Bowl odds shortened and the Vikings' lengthened after Sunday's 21-10 win.

The Eagles are 33/1 to win it all, a week after being listed by Bovada at 50/1. The Vikings, meanwhile, went from 7/1 to 9/1. They still have the third-shortest Super Bowl odds in the NFL and are two spots ahead of the Cowboys (14/1). 

Wentz, who had his worst statistical game against Minnesota, is now 9/1 to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, according to Bovada. Last Wednesday, he was 6/1.

Wentz trails Cowboys studs Ezekiel Elliott (2/5) and Dak Prescott (11/5) on that leaderboard.

As far as this week, Wentz is favored to throw for more yards than Prescott. Wentz is 5/7 to outgain Prescott through the air in Week 8, while Prescott is 1/1 to outgain Wentz.

Elliott's over/under rushing total against the Eagles is 99.5. He's rushed for 130-plus yards in each of his last four games, and the odds are 3/1 that he'll reach that number again this week. 

The Eagles have allowed just one 100-yard rusher this season, Washington's Matt Jones (16 for 135).

Elliott is also now on pace to break Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record. Dickerson had 1,808 in 1983; Elliott is on pace for 1,875. Will Elliott break that 33-year-old mark? A "yes" bet pays 2/1; a "no" bet pays 1/3.

Dave Hakstol did Steve Mason a favor by challenging Sabres' 3rd goal

Dave Hakstol did Steve Mason a favor by challenging Sabres' 3rd goal

Many, though not all hockey games, have a tipping point or pivotal moment that factors into the outcome.
Sometimes it’s obvious what it was and when the moment occurred. Other times, it’s overshadowed by something else on the ice.
Ask the Flyers which moment would define their come-from-behind 4-3 shootout victory over Buffalo on Tuesday and the response will be virtually unanimous: when Dmitry Kulikov leveled Jakub Voracek with a high hit that made contact to the head in the third period.
Voracek was forced off the ice under the NHL’s concussion protocol.
That hit incensed the Flyers, who went on to score two power-play goals and tie the game, 3-3. The comeback was on.
Yet there was a less obvious but significant point that happened late in the second period, and it concerned goalie Steve Mason.
Matt Moulson had given Buffalo a 3-0 lead on Michal Neuvirth at 15:43, when Flyers coach Dave Hakstol elected to make a goalie switch.
Rather than call a simple timeout to buy Mason some warm-up time and allow his team to collect itself on the bench, Hakstol challenged the goal, claiming “goalie interference.”
Replays won’t show any direct interference on the shot itself. Neuvirth was speared several seconds before the play developed.
Hakstol knew the goal would likely not be overturned, but his strategy was to buy time for Mason and his team. By using a challenge, he knew the review process would take a lot longer than the 60-second timeout.
Either way, he was going to use his only timeout.
“You know what, I think we needed a timeout at that time, anyway,” Hakstol said coyly. “Pretty low probability of it being successful. Everything worked out well in the end.”
Mason appreciated what his coach did, too. Buying extra time for you?
“Yeah, probably,” Mason replied. “Regardless of the situation, you’re sitting on the bench, you know? You’re not really gauged as much as when you’re playing, obviously. So, you just try and ramp things up as quickly as possible.”
Mason had two saves in that shortened period, five in the third period and one in the overtime to register his second victory.
“There’s a never-quit attitude in this room,” he said. “We showed in Chicago — we were just talking about that. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to close that one out.
“But guys have a belief that you get one [moment] and it comes. [Travis Konecny] got us going with his first NHL goal, which is great. The guys really pushed to capitalize on their chances.” ​