KANSAS CITY – The Colts indeed will be get the best Christmas present of all.
After Sunday’s victory over the Chiefs, interim head coach Bruce Arians confirmed that Chuck Pagano will return to the team on Monday.
Arians made the announcement in his post-game news conference at Arrowhead Stadium following the coach’s 20-13 victory.
Later on Sunday evening, the Colts announced that a news conference will be held at 12:15 P.M. Monday, where it is likely Pagano will speak for the first time since his diagnosis. Arians said in his news conference that he expects Pagano to address the team at 10 A.M.
“Mission accomplished. That’s all I can say,” said Arians when talking about having Pagano back with the team. ”It’s a fantastic feeling. Without getting emotional again, knowing that he’s going to be back Monday, and the work week shouldn’t be as stressful.”
Pagano’s return signifies another major victory for the coach who has been fighting Leukemia since late September. Since then the coach has undergone three chemotherapy treatments and according to doctors is in remission.
His last game on the sidelines was the Colts’ 22-19 loss to the Jaguars on September 21st. Pagano’s diagnosis came during the team’s bye week.
Since then Pagano has had a number of visits to the Colts complex and has attended three games at Lucas Oil Stadium. He addressed the team following their victory over the Dolphins on November 4th in which he expressed his desire to see his daughters get married and win multiple Lombardi Trophies with the Colts.
In his absense, Arians has led the Colts to an unexpected 9-3 mark which earned a wild card berth in the 2012 NFL Playoffs. Along with his head coaching duties, Arians has also maintained his offensive coordinator duties which he will continue once Pagano takes over full coaching duties.