Chuck Pagano Reportedly Diagnosed with Leukemia, Bruce Arians to Coach Colts

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach Chuck Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts watches from the sidelines against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is going to miss time with the team after being diagnosed with what is called a "serious illness," according to Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with a "serious'' illness and will miss the next few games, at least. Arians will be interim.

— BobKravitz (@bkravitz) October 1, 2012

Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that the illness Pagano is suffering from is leukemia. However, he also reports that the situation is "very treatable."

The "serious illness" that has hospitalized #Colts coach Chuck Pagano, as has been reported by Indianapolis Star, is leukemia, per sources.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) October 1, 2012

Pagano's leukemia is considered "very treatable" but he is in isolation at Indianapolis hospital during this treatment.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) October 1, 2012

In an appearance on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike In the Morning (via ESPN's Rachel Nichols), Pagano will be hospitalized for six weeks as he undergoes treatment for the disease. 

.@mortreport says Pagano's been told his leukemia is "very treatable. Will be in the hospital for 6 wks, Eventually plans to return as coach

— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 1, 2012

At the press conference, the doctor provided some insight as to when Pagano began his treatment and a small glimpse into what's to come. (via Mike Chapell)

Dr. Larry Cripe: Pagano hospitalized wednesday night and treatment began

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) October 1, 2012

Cripe: Goal of treatment is to cure the disease. That means he returns to a fully functional life. ...however process is long, complicated

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) October 1, 2012

Colts beat writer Mike Chappell provided notes from the press conference, notably what owner Jim Irsay had to say about the situation. 

Irsay: . . . pagano went in and got fully evaluated on symptoms. had leukemia. 'very difficult blow for him, his family'

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) October 1, 2012

Irsay: i am optimistic. i feel with every fiber in my body, and chuck feels the same way, that he can beat this thing.

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) October 1, 2012

Chapell also provided tidbits from Irsay about how the coaching situation will likely play out for the rest of this season. 

Irsay: it's unlikely he will be all-in as a HC this season. that's probably not in the cards. not able to come back and be all-in as a HC

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) October 1, 2012

Irsay: Bruce Arians will be interim head coach. CHuck's wishes and has my blessings and Ryan's blessings

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) October 1, 2012

Phillip Wilson of the Indianapolis Star also had a quote from Irsay, as well as some information on Pagano's treatment. 

#Colts owner: "It's a marathon, there's no question about it." I'm told by doc that Pagano could be blasted with chemo for up to 2 years.

— Phillip B Wilson (@pwilson24) October 1, 2012

Irsay delivered a message to all the fans of the franchise and the NFL to keep thinking about Pagano. 

Colts n all NFL Fans..keep Coach Chuck n his family in your prayers..He is fighting with courageous energy n faith and WILL win this battle!

— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) October 1, 2012

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who is in his second stint with the franchise, will take over as the team's coach in Pagano's absence. 

According to a Kravitz report filed to the Indianapolis Star, the Colts will hold a press conference this morning to discuss the situation and what Pagano will be dealing with. 

The Colts will have a press conference this morning, at which time they will introduce Pagano’s doctor and offer more specifics on his illness.

One top organization official acknowledged it’s serious, but added “we’re very optimistic about his recovery."

Kravitz's report also says that Pagano got tested during the Colts' bye week after "feeling unusual fatigue in recent weeks."

Pagano was in his first season as head coach of the Colts after serving as the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator in 2011. Along with Andrew Luck, he represented a changing of the guard for the franchise. 

The Colts are off to a 1-2 start this season, with Pagano's first victory as a head coach coming in Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings