Colts head coach Chuck Pagano continues to make steady progress as he battles leukemia while targeting December 30th as his return date to the sideline or the booth.
The first year coach took a leave of absence October 1st to undergo treatments for leukemia. Since then, he has returned to the Colts complex and to Lucas Oil Stadium, including for a game that featured what might be one of the most famous locker room speeches in NFL history after the Colts defeated the Dolphins in Week 9.
At his Friday presser, interim coach Bruce Arians, the man who has stepped in for Pagano during his absence, told the media that Pagano returned to the practice field for that day's practice:
Update on Chuck. He had a great day today. The sun was shining, and he broke his team down at practice. It was a beautiful moment. I called him this morning. I'm always afraid to invite him indoors because of germs. But, we were outside. The doc says it's OK. Please come. He came and enjoyed a god bunch of sunshine and talked to the guys. Another beautiful day.
When asked if December 30th, which is a home game against the Houston Texans, is still Pagano's target date to return, Arians replied:
That's the date, and the way he's going now, it's going good.
Per Pagano's doctors, his cancer is in remission.
As far as the practice went, Arians described it as "spirited." Everyone practiced, with the exception of Vontae Davis and rookie Coby Fleener. Both were ruled OUT of Sunday's game against the Patriots.