Chuck Pagano is a 'fighter': Colts react to leukemia diagnosis

Michael Hickey - Getty Images

Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts management and coaching staff react to the news that head coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with leukemia.

The Indianapolis Colts management and coaching staff is steadfast in their belief that head coach Chuck Pagano will win his fight with leukemia and soon return to the Colts sideline, and they stated those beliefs at Monday's press conference which has been summarized by Brad Wells of SB Nation's Indianapolis Colts blog, Stampede Blue.

Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke first and introduced Dr. Larry Cripe of Indiana University's Health Simon Cancer Center, who laid out the details of Pagano's illness and upcoming treatment:

Cripe: Pagano's cancer is of the bone marrow tissue. There is strong likelihood of remission. No bone marrow transplant is required. However, transfusions and chemotherapy are ... The current phase of his treatment is 4-6 weeks. Most people with this type of leukemia have strong likelihood of remission, but Pagano will be in treatment of some kind for the next two years.

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson then spoke, calling Pagano a "fighter." He also stated that Bruce Arians will take over as interim head coach. Arians then took the podium, fighting back tears. Wells writes that Arians connection with Pagano goes much deeper than just their relationship on the football field:

Arians revealed to media that he is a cancer survivor himself, and that these first few days for Pagano will be very hard as he undergoes chemo.

Jim Irsay stated Pagano's wishes that his illness be presented honestly and upfront. He then asked the fans and media to show support for Pagano and his family in this trying time.

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