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Chuck Pagano finishes chemotherapy, could return Week 17

The Colts' Chuck Pagano talks on his head set during an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Indiana. Reuters

Colts coach Chuck Pagano is finished with chemotherapy and eyeing a return to the sideline at the end of the season.

Pagano, who has missed most of the season while being treated for leukemia, had his final chemotherapy treatment today. His doctor told the Indianapolis Star afterward that depending on how Pagano is feeling, he believes it is reasonable to think the coach could resume coaching for the regular-season finale against the Texans on December 30.

“I’m fully supportive and I have my fingers crossed that he’ll be there on the sideline if that’s where he wants to be,” Dr. Larry Cripe said. “He’s received all of the chemotherapy he was to receive. Now it’s just a matter of over the next couple of weeks recovering back to health. He can start conditioning and moving towards what he wants to do, which is return to coaching.”

Cripe stressed that it’s no sure thing that Pagano will be feeling up to coaching before the end of the year. But there seems to be increasing optimism out of Indianapolis that Pagano will take the reins back from interim head coach Bruce Arians at the end of the year. And into the playoffs.

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28 Responses to “Chuck Pagano finishes chemotherapy, could return Week 17”
  1. jcity18 says: Dec 4, 2012 8:43 PM

    Glad to see this. Hopefully the Colts can keep playing at the emotional high level they are at now when he returns. Colts go to second round of playoffs…. Luck makes a STRONG case for MVP.

  2. wikidpissah says: Dec 4, 2012 8:49 PM

    How can anyone not be rooting and praying for this guy’s return?

  3. roastmeforbeingacardsfan says: Dec 4, 2012 8:52 PM

    Chuck strong

  4. seeptermean says: Dec 4, 2012 9:00 PM

    Glad to see this. Hopefully the Colts can keep playing at the emotional high level they are at now when he returns. Colts go to second round of playoffs…. Luck makes a STRONG case for MVP.

    ——————————————————-

    Are you kidding me? Luck makes a STRONG case for MVP, you’ve got to be joking! I think the MVP of the colts this season has to be Jim Caldwell. That guy was the most worthless head coach that I’ve ever seen.

  5. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Dec 4, 2012 9:03 PM

    As soon as he gets back, the Colts will stumble. The reason for the Colts’ success this year is because of Arians (and his Steeler bloodline). Look at the winning % with and without Arians as HC.

  6. lightcleric says: Dec 4, 2012 9:03 PM

    Part of me wonders if Bruce Arians should just finish out the year instead of having another coach(even the head one) try to come in at the end of the year and change things up. The Saints’ situation has shown that can be kind of awkward.

    Either way, I hope he recovers that quickly. Best wishes!

  7. diversitydemocracy2011 says: Dec 4, 2012 9:16 PM

    Great news, although the coaching staff deserves tremendous credit for running things so well in his absence. The acting HC in particular will likely get lots of offers.

  8. gavinmac says: Dec 4, 2012 9:22 PM

    I hope he recovers, but the selfless thing to do would be to let Arians finish the year rather than come back in Week 17 and try to grab playoff glory. Obviously, whatever Arians is doing is working. I would feel differently if it were week 8 or even week 12. Week 17 is just a weird time to come back to reclaim your job.

  9. peytonsneck18 says: Dec 4, 2012 9:23 PM

    steeler fan, dude give it up, u guys are on the outside looking in right now

  10. steelerpride82 says: Dec 4, 2012 9:24 PM

    With all the stupid articles on here like the Tomlin/Harbaugh handshake, its really refreshing to see an article that is actually inspiring and heart warming. What a great story it would be if Pagano came back and the Colts beat the Broncos in the playoffs. (Its not probable but, it would be a great story)

  11. skoobyfl says: Dec 4, 2012 9:26 PM

    Best news I’ve heard in a while, all the while not being a Colts fan.

  12. msclemons67 says: Dec 4, 2012 9:26 PM

    Seeing someone beat cancer is always a great story.

  13. boyshole25 says: Dec 4, 2012 10:03 PM

    Great story paganos the man but Bruce is the coach of that team and should stay that way look at what he has done

  14. dartwick says: Dec 4, 2012 10:21 PM

    I hope he feels up to coming back and wins the final game.

  15. Deb says: Dec 4, 2012 10:21 PM

    Finishing chemo–which happened in December for me, too–is a great day! Coach Pagano will be extremely fatigued, but I’m praying he is able to get back to his team in time to finish the season and go with them into the playoffs. God bless him!

  16. mattolikesthevikes says: Dec 4, 2012 10:48 PM

    What a story. Hope it has a great ending. Go colts unless you play my Vikings again.

  17. ddogdaddy says: Dec 4, 2012 11:39 PM

    It has been so interesting watching Bruce Arians as the acting head coach of the Colts. What I am about to say has no intent of being disrespectful in any way. In my humble opinion I do not think he is head coach material. As an OC he his a lot like the QB’s he has coached in his career, to use his term, a bit of a gunslinger. This year has been the most fun that I can ever remember as a Colts fan. A huge part of the excitement is BA turning his gunslinger rookie QB loose and letting him take chances that not many head coaches would ever dream of allowing from a rook.
    While no one has been shot yet his unconventional coaching style has raised a few eyebrows for sure. Until Coach P comes back to be the captain of the ship he sailed with, BA should just keep doing what has been doing, playing it loose and keep chucking the rock downfield. I wonder if any other Colts fans agree with my way of thinking? Who cares, I guess I’m a bit of a gunslinger too. Go Colts.

  18. yelix says: Dec 5, 2012 12:45 AM

    Impossible to root against the Colts this year.

  19. brenenostler says: Dec 5, 2012 12:51 AM

    Glad Pagano’s doing well. But I also feel that Arians should finish the season as HC. I know the first three games doesn’t accurately reflect how a season will go (after all, the Cards were 3-0 at this point), but the Colts are 7-2 with Arians as the acting HC, so let’s not change anything now.

  20. jbrenckl says: Dec 5, 2012 12:59 AM

    this guy should be coach of the year for the NFL. He instilled an idea of winning his players and coaching staff latched onto this year before he left, and its paying off for them. My team lost to them this year (Browns), but whether it be him, or his situation, his team has improved to inspirational levels this year compared to the last. As a die hard Browns fan, I applaud this team, franchise, and especially the coach for their triumphs this season. With all of the crap going on today, its good to hear about something this heartwarming

  21. trippymane says: Dec 5, 2012 1:02 AM

    Glad to see him recover and all. But I think arians should remain hc after all they are heading towards the playoffs with arians as coach not pagano

  22. The Prophet says: Dec 5, 2012 1:15 AM

    I’m all for Pagano getting healthy again, but honestly do we really want to make a coaching change this season, and possibly tamper with the “hot hand” of Bruce Arianas as head coach?

  23. Obama's Ballsack says: Dec 5, 2012 7:19 AM

    Andrew Luck is better than Griffin.

  24. skins23 says: Dec 5, 2012 9:35 AM

    Obama’s Ballsack says:
    Dec 5, 2012 7:19 AM
    Andrew Luck is better than Griffin.

    _________________________________

    By what measure? W/L? So I guess Flacco is better than Brees, Ridley is better than Peterson, and Crabtree is better than Megatron. Ok, got it.

    Here’s some stats for peytonsneck and the other Colts fans touting Luck as MVP.

    Last year, the Colts played a 1st place schedule and had a terrible coach and a terrible QB.

    This year, their opponents winning % is .431. That’s the 2nd EASIEST in the league. They haven’t beat a winning team in 2 months.

    And they are BARELY winning games against bad teams, largely because Luck’s league leading 21 turnovers keep putting them in big holes. Here’s the list of QB’s that Luck has a higher completion % than: Mark Sanchez. That’s it. And he’s 29th in the leauge in rating.

    Luck will be a good QB in this league but right now saying he is MVP is insane. RG3 is at the top of the league in nearly every passing category. With 200 LESS throws, he has the same # of TDs as Luck. And 12 less INTs. And is a lethal runner.

    Colts are benefiting from a creampuff schedule. I’m all for Chuck but Luck as an MVP is a joke.

  25. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Dec 5, 2012 9:35 AM

    It’s stories like these that affirm to me there’s 20-50 internet sleezeballs. Can’t believe people would waste their time thumbs downing positive comments. As a father of someone who was diagnosed with Luekemia at age 3, this is nothing short of AWESOME if Chuck could come back to coach at any point this year. Simply getting cancer into remission will be the biggest victory of Chuck’s life. From a Bucs fan, Go Colts!

  26. redandgoldhitman52 says: Dec 5, 2012 9:36 AM

    the colts have found there coach(arianas). no need to bring back pagano. outside of football, i wish pagano the best.

  27. steelerben says: Dec 5, 2012 9:37 AM

    Arians has been doing a great job getting the team prepared and making sure the game plan is implimented properly and deserves recognition for his services.

    However, by all accounts, Pagano is still involved in the game planning, scheming and all of the off field decision making from his hospital room, as if *just* beating cancer isn’t bada$$ enough. If he is healthy enough to hit the sidelines, how do you not let the guy do it? The way the team has responded to the situation and played for their coach this season, you don’t think it is worth the pop they get with him hitting the field with them the week before the playoffs start? Even if he is only there as a figurehead and the majority of the workload is still being carried by Arians, you don’t want to face this team in the playoffs with Chuck back and the team playing bonkers.

  28. ddogdaddy says: Dec 5, 2012 9:31 PM

    How can these idiots think the Colts have the easiest schedule? When you are the worst team with the worst record, every team you play is better then you. So technically, the Colts have the hardest schedule.

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