The news broke this morning about Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, who has acute promyelocytic leukemia. The illness will sideline Pagano likely for the entire season. Colts owner Jim Irsay said, “It’s unlikely he will be all-in as the head coach this season. That’s probably not in the cards.” Pagano was told by his wife he needed to get checked out due to bruising and he went to the doctor last Wednesday. The doctor said he knew it was series and admitted Pagano to the hospital that night.
IU Health Dr. Larry Cripe said: “Treatment began Wednesday night and it’s a long and slow process…He’s in the induction phase which takes 4-6 weeks recovery time. He’s in risk to complications the next few days, weeks, so he’s in isolation.” Cripe also said “he’s done well with chemo so far. Spirits are good and he’s gung ho for return to work.”
No time table was given for Pagano’s return, but I wouldn’t think he will be back at all this season and miss at least the early part of next season. This is something he needs to take his time on so he can get healthy. “The Colts preach God, family, and football in that order,” Irsay said. During this process, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will take over. Arians said, “I will leave a light on in his office until he comes back.”
The Colts aren’t moving on from Pagano. He will always have a job here with the organization and have his job back when he’s healthy. This isn’t a scenario where he needs to rush back to keep his job. Arians battled through cancer and survived and now is back in the NFL. It’s a sad day for Pagano and his family, but I don’t expect him back until at least mid 2013 season.