Chuck Pagano likely won't return to the Indianapolis Colts until he finishes his second round of chemotherapy. But despite his ongoing battle with leukemia, the coach remains deeply connected to the team.
Case in point: When quarterback Chandler Harnish was told he would be waived by the team, it was Pagano who called from the hospital to explain the situation to the rookie.
"He just wanted to explain the situation of the injuries and things like that," Harnish said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I thought that was pretty cool on his part, especially a guy like me, third-string quarterback. To hear that makes you feel like you're important, you're wanted on this team."
Harnish now is on the Colts' practice squad.
Pagano, 52, was released from the hospital Sunday and is receiving his second round of treatment from home. He is being kept in a sterile environment to prevent the risk of infection, according to The Associated Press.
The coach has sent team-wide emails, in addition to texts and phone calls.
"Guy's fighting for his life, man, and he's got more attitude than most guys in this locker room," defensive end Cory Redding said. "That's just how he is. Our conversations reflect it."
Pagano's passion for the job is apparent. Let's hope we see him back on the sideline soon.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.