At the press conference today detailing Colts head coach Chuck Pagano's acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) diagnosis, it was announced that while Pagano is recovering, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will act as the team's interim head coach.
Arians, who spoke briefly to media while fighting back tears, revealed that he is a cancer survivor himself, and that these first few days for Pagano, as he undergoes chemotherapy treatment, will be "very hard."
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson told media that more changes to the coaching staff are possible while Arians assumes this new role. What those changes are, Grigson could not say. Colts owner Jim Irsay stated at the press conference that no assistant coaches outside of Arians were informed of Pagano's illness until this morning.
Per a request from Arians and the team, Pagano's office light will remain on until he returns.
Pagano is expected to be in an isolation environment at a local Indianapolis hospital for 4-6 weeks. Pagano's wife, Tina, is allowed to stay with him in the hospital.
Jim Irsay stated at the presser that this sort of situation is unprecedented in the NFL, to have a head coach be diagnosed with such an illness early in the season. Irsay stressed that Pagano is very upbeat, and asked fans and media to offer their support to the coach while he recovers.