As the Colts prepare to take the field on Sunday without head coach Chuck Pagano to lead them, they’ll hear from Pagano, indirectly.
According to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star, Pagano has sent an email to the team. Interim head coach Bruce Arians will read it to the players on Saturday.
“Very private,” Arians said. “He sent it to every player. Very long. . . . When you read it by yourself, it’s very emotional. I don’t know if I can get it out to the team. I might assign someone to read it.”
Pagano was hospitalized on September 26 with leukemia. Receiver Reggie Wayne, who first became acquainted with Pagano at the University of Miami 16 years ago, visited him this week.
“I sat with him a little while,” Wayne said. “He’s doing good, man. I was kind of surprised how good he was. He’s the same. He was joking.
“He’s looking at it straight in the eyes. He understands what’s going on. He understands the tough task ahead of him. If there’s somebody that can go in and hit this out of the ballpark, it’s him.”
Six years ago, Wayne’s brother was killed in an auto accident, and Wayne had to find a way to play a week later.
“That’s how I know there’s still a game to be played no matter what the deal is,” Wayne said. “Everybody’s dealt with it their own way. We still play a kid’s game. People [are] out there making life’s decisions every day.
“Hopefully we can go out and play together, play good Colts football and come out with a ‘W’ for [Pagano].”
It won’t be easy. The Packers, despite being 2-2, are still one of the best teams in the league. And Arians already is bracing for a Cheesehead uprising when the Colts have the ball in their own building.