If you were surprised when Akeem Jordan was suddenly promoted to the starting lineup, don’t feel bad – nobody was more surprised than Jordan himself.

But that promotion was a long time coming, according to defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and Jordan is the Eagles’ new weak-side linebacker as a reward for his consistent play throughout training camp and the preseason.

“Akeem earned it,’ Castillo said.

Second-year man Brian Rolle won the starting position in the last part of last season and held it throughout the spring minicamps and almost all of training camp, so it was assumed that it was his job. Then, on Monday, coach Andy Reid announced that he and Castillo had decided to make a change.

Rolle said he didn’t expect the move and Jordan didn’t either. And even though he’s the starter now, Jordan said he’s taking nothing for granted.

“Nothing is a given and nothing is written in stone,’’he said. “That’s why you go out and play like you’re hair is on fire.”

As when informed of Castillo’s comment that he was being rewarded for his consistency, Jordan shrugged.

“It’s just about going out there and making plays,’’ he said. “If you go work hard and make plays, I guess it will be consistent.”

Speaking of consistency… That is what wide receiver Damaris Johnson needs to be an impact player with the Eagles, at least according to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

Johnson has been a camp sensation and the undrafted rookie appears to be a lock to make the roster because he’s the No.1 punt returner and he’s also made some nice plays in the passing game in the preseason games. However, he’s also had problems handling a couple of punts and ball security is the most important thing for a returner.

Morhinweg said that since Johnson is just 5-8, 170 pounds – a normal size in the normal world, but not in the NFL – he has to do everything right to survive.

“His challenge is to play at a consistent level,’’Mornhinweg said. “He has to be consistent to help this football team.”

Patterson determined to return: DT Mike Patterson was expecting the bad news, but he refused to take it badly after he found out he’d start the season on the reserve, non-football-illness list.

Patterson hasn’t practiced at all in training camp as he recovers from off-season brain surgery and now there’s a chance he won’t play at all this season. He’s eligible to return to practice anytime between Weeks 6 and 9, but that’s a long ways into the future and Patterson is more concerned about the here and now.

“I’m not worried about coming back and playing football again, because I know I will,’’ he said. “But you have to be smart, too. This isn’t like a knee or an ankle or something like that. You’re talking about the brain, so you want to be sure.’’

Patterson had off-season surgery to repair tangled blood vessels in his brain and even though the surgery went well and he can run and lift weights and generally keep in shape, nobody is ready to say he’s ready to go helmet-to-helmet with a 350-pound offensive lineman.

Patterson, who started 106 games since the Eagles drafted him in the first round in 2005, said he’s scheduled to have x-rays taken in the next week or two and they will be sent to the surgeon who performed the operation.

“He’ll look at them and see what’s going on,’’ Patterson said. “And then, no matter what they decide, we’ll just take it from there.”

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow@CBSSportsNFLPHI.