ESPN’s Merril Hoge to have heart surgery

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Former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Merril Hoge is taking a leave to have heart surgery.

Hoge said on the air today that he’s taking a “bye week” to attend to his health but doesn’t expect to be gone long.

“Merril is having heart surgery to repair a vessel,” ESPN said in a statement. “The procedure has been planned for several weeks. His health is strong and he has great doctors. He expects to make a full recovery and will be out several weeks. We wish Merril a speedy recovery and look forward to having him back on our NFL coverage later this fall.”

Hoge has long been a staple of ESPN’s best show, NFL Countdown. We hope to see Hoge and his big neckties back on our televisions soon.