- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- It's understandable that the subject had Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano pausing between sentences. He was right there with Denver coach John Fox and Houston coach Gary Kubiak last season.
And that's why Fox and Kubiak's recent health issues hit home with Pagano. The Colts coach said he recently reached out to both coaches to let them know that the team's praying for them.
Fox had surgery Monday to replace a valve in his heart after he became dizzy while playing golf in North Carolina and was later taken to a hospital during the team's bye week over the weekend. It's unknown when he'll return to coaching the Broncos.
Kubiak collapsed while heading to the locker room at halftime of Sunday's game against the Colts. He was immediately taken to the hospital.
"Hopefully they get things taken care of and get their health back," Pagano said. "We're lucky. We're playing a kid's game. Our players are playing a kid's game, but real life is real life. If you don't have your health, you really don't have nothing."
Pagano missed 12 games last season while he took a leave of absence to battle leukemia.
"I feel very fortunate, obviously to have behind me what I went through," he said. "But the game is the game. When it comes to a guy's health and those things those guys are dealing with now is not easy. This game could be hard on you as we know."
ESPN.com Texans reporter Tania Gangulia wrote after the game Sunday that Kubiak's departure impacted the players in the second half, which isn't surprising because you're talking about somebody's life in that situation. The Colts outscored the Texans 24-3 in the second half to come from behind and win 27-24.
Bruce Arians filled in while Pagano was out last season, but he missed their playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens after he became ill that morning.
"It's got to affect you," Pagano said about the Texans not having Kubiak in the second half. "It's hard. A tough, tough situation."