Defensive tackle Mike Patterson was alert, stable and joking at a hospital after suffering a seizure at training camp at Lehigh University, trainer Rick Burkholder said Wednesday. Patterson dropped to the ground between plays during a morning practice, and the player began violently shaking. He was immediately tended to by Burkholder and his staff, with assistance from rookie offensive lineman Danny Watkins, a trained firefighter. Burkholder said the 6-foot-1, 300-pound (185.4cm, 135kg) Patterson was undergoing further tests at Lehigh Valley Hospital. "He's absolutely alert, stable, totally communicating with everybody, even joking a little bit," Burkholder said. "We won't speculate what happened to him, other than he had a seizure. It could be anything. We don't even want to speculate what might have happened."
Reggie Hodges, the punter, is expected to miss the whole of the 2011 season after he tore the Achilles tendon in his left leg during practice on Tuesday. "It'll probably prevent him from playing this year," Pat Shurmur, the Browns coach, said. "We're going to quickly address that. We'll have some guys in tomorrow and will have a tryout going." The 29-year-old Hodges, who was entering his third season with the Browns, was one of the NFL's top-rated punters last season. He punted 78 times and averaged 43.9 yards, dropping 29 punts inside the 20-yard line and 15 inside the 10, the third best in the NFL.
The Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has fired an early shot at NFC Eastern Division rivals Philadelphia, describing the big-spending Eagles as "all hype". Following in the same brash style of his twin brother, Rex, the head coach of the New York Jets, and their father, Buddy, Rob Ryan, told reporters he was unimpressed by Philadelphia's spending spree and predicted the Cowboys would have few problems beating them this season. "I don't know if we win the all-hype team, I think that might have gone to somebody else," he said at Cowboys training. "But we're going to beat [them] when we play them."
New York Jets
In New Jersey, Rex Ryan was challenging the rest of the league to take on the New England Patriots, the Jets' AFC East rivals. "I think we need to find someone else besides the Jets to beat the New England Patriots," the Jets' head coach said, noting New England won the division the last two seasons, forcing the Jets to play all their play-off games on the road. The Jets faced the Patriots three times last season, splitting their regular season matches, but beating the Pats at Foxboro, Massachusetts, in their play-off game. "Are you good enough to beat the New England Patriots? I'm challenging the league,"Ryan said.
Ben Roethlisberger is doing his part to help the Steelers get under the salary cap. The veteran quarterback has agreed to restructure his contract to help the defending AFC champions get under the US$120.4 million (Dh442.2m) cap. The Steelers entered training camp about $10 million over the cap and last week released veterans Max Starks, Flozell Adams and Antwaan Randle El to shed payroll. Roethlisberger wore Starks' No 78 in practice as a tribute. Roethlisberger could be joined by several teammates in restructuring their deals so the Steelers can keep intact the core that led them to the Super Bowl. The cap has made it difficult for Pittsburgh to make a splash in the free agent market.