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Vic Fangio to Coach in NFL HOF Game Despite Being Hospitalized for Kidney Stone

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 2, 2019

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio warms up during an NFL training camp practice at the team's headquarters Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio will coach his team in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Thursday despite being hospitalized for a kidney stone earlier in the day.

Broncos executive vice president of public and community relations Patrick Smyth revealed the news in advance of Denver's preseason-opening matchup against the Atlanta Falcons in Canton, Ohio.

Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic provided video of Fangio's arrival at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium and another of him on the field during warm-ups:

Nicki Jhabvala @NickiJhabvala

Vic Fangio has arrived. https://t.co/qtzZaXfzMb

Nicki Jhabvala @NickiJhabvala

Vic Fangio on the field as the specialists warm up. https://t.co/PirgAca3mf

Fangio, 60, is in his first year as the Broncos head coach. He led the No. 1 scoring defense in the league as the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator last season.

Smyth also tweeted that a team physician took Fangio to the hospital, and ESPN's Adam Schefter provided more insight.

Notably, the reporter wrote that Fangio "spent a good part of the day in a Cleveland hospital with a kidney stone" and that it had not passed.

However, Fangio apparently felt well enough to attempt coaching the team Thursday and even told Mike Klis of 9News pregame that he is "good."

As Klis also wrote, Fangio hasn't had a head-coaching gig in 40 seasons. He'd been a defensive coordinator for six teams over 19 seasons but never received a head-coaching opportunity until the Denver gig opened up.

Waiting decades for a chance and getting one only to be hospitalized literally hours before the first game is horrible luck, but the fact that Fangio is even out there is remarkable. Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post was clearly impressed:

Mark Kiszla @markkiszla

Kidney stones are a pain in the ... So my sympathy to Broncos coach Vic Fangio. But trying to pass a stone on the day of his first (preseason) game as a head coach kinda adds to the Legend of Uncle Vic.

Denver's next preseason game will take place next Thursday at the Seattle Seahawks.