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Eagles stay patient with Vick, McCoy; Patterson hospitalized

rob parent delco times

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:06 AM

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Eagles stay patient with Vick, McCoy; Patterson hospitalized

Published: Saturday, December 08, 2012

By ROB PARENT
rparent@delcotimes.com



PHILADELPHIA - What Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder knows about concussions now has been greatly influenced by an Eagles doctor that knows much about that same subject, Gary Dorshimer.

It was Dorshimer, of course, who had the pleasure of being involved in the Flyers' long and chaotic concussion history, from Eric Lindros to Jeremy Roenick to Keith Primeau and on to Chris Pronger.

Dorshimer knows what repeated concussions can do to a great athlete's career, which is part of the reason that the Eagles are being so patient with current head injury stars Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy.

Burkholder said yesterday both players were at "Stage 4" in the concussion recovery progress, with the next level representing a return to contact in practice.

"Both of those guys are doing activity at an extremely high level," Burkholder said after Eagles practice Friday. "They went out today and ran 15 100-yard sprints with 50-yard walks in-between. ... and they're doing real intense work in the weight room."

Burkholder, who Thursday also had to deal with a very sick defensive lineman in Mike Patterson, said his prime concern with Vick this week was that he still had trouble reacting to things with his eyes. As for McCoy, he's experienced some fatige and headache symptoms at night, which moved the Eagles to send him to Pittsburgh earlier in the week for another evaluation.

All testing checked out positive, however.

"They're doing great," Burkholder said. "They're just not cleared for (football) activity yet. There's nothing that's alarming to me. With (McCoy), I didn't like the way things were adding up; didn't like the way he got symptoms at night and not during the day, and we just wanted him checked out more. But now we're just waiting until there's less symptoms (with McCoy) and a little bit better reaction time (with Vick) before going to that next phase.

"I don't think it's frustrating for them that it's taking so long," Burkholder added. "I think it's frustrating for them that they're not able to play with their teammates right now. They understand we're protecting them to make sure they're not going (to regress)."

Though the NFL does have its concussion protocols, you wonder if the level of patience with these concussion recoveries would be there if the club was 9-3 instead of 3-9, or if viable prospects Nick Foles and Bryce Brown weren't there to get extended looks as the countdown toward a high draft pick continues.

Really, it's win-win for the Eagles right now to be extra cautious with their two high-profile concussion victims. That runs counter, of course, to the position the Flyers always seemed to be in those several times that Lindros took a nasty hit or when Primeau was refusing to sit with his concussion as the team he led was trying to survive in the playoffs.

Burkholder may have observed that from afar, and perhaps understands the position a team doctor like Dorshimer is in during such times.

"If you look at some of the other athletes in this town, they’ve probably had similar issues," Burkholder said.

As for Mike Patterson, Burkholder said he was sent to a local hospital and a preliminary diagnosis is viral pneumonia. Burkholder stressed it had nothing to do with the tangled blood vessel condition (arteriovenous malformation) that called for brain surgery last January.

Burkholder said Patterson "is doing fine" and will remain hospitalized awaiting test results to confirm the diagnosis.