As a dream team turned nightmare cleaned out its locker room for the offseason a week before the NFL playoffs kick off, a story of hope broke the thick air of defeat.

Defensive tackle Mike Patterson played in all but one of the Philadelphia Eagles’ regular season games this season - and now he’s preparing for brain surgery.

“I still have one more doctor to check out, but I’m going to get something done,” Patterson told “We’ll see. I’m not nervous at all about it. I felt like, for me personally, it’s not as big a deal as it seems to be to other people. It’s a quick procedure and I’ll be back.”

In August, Patterson collapsed during training camp and suffered an epileptic seizure in front of his teammates and thousands of fans.

Tests revealed an abnormal connection between arteries and veins in the brain - a cerebral arteriovenous malformation, also known as AVM. While the cause is unknown, AVMs typically form before birth and occur in less than one percent of people, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Seventeen days after he collapsed, Patterson was cleared by doctors and returned to the field with the Eagles, delaying any procedure to fix the AVM until after the season. He was named the winner of the Ed Block Courage Award at the end of the season, selected in a vote by teammates.

Patterson will undergo surgery in the coming weeks, followed by rehab that may last anywhere from one month to half a year.