Chuck Pagano has leukemia; 'He can beat this thing'

David Banks - Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay confirmed that head coach Chuck Pagano has leukemia, as had been reported on Monday morning.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with leukemia, according to team owner Jim Irsay, who confirmed in a press conference news that had been reported on Monday morning by several outlets. Irsay also told reporters that he doesn't expect Pagano to return as head coach this season but that he thinks he may be able to coach from the press box at some interval late in the season.

Irsay, though, stressed optimism that Pagano will eventually be healthy and back with the team.

"I feel with every fiber of my body, and Chuck feels the same way, that he can beat this thing."

(via Pro Football Talk)

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will assume the role of head coach in Pagano's absence, and Irsay told reporters that he has confidence in Arians' ability to lead the franchise. Arians has been an NFL assistant for over 15 years, but this will be his first stint as a head coach.

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