Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on the field at halftime of Sunday night's 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The coach was taken to the hospital and signs were positive, but players still had a game to play.
Defensive end Antonio Smith watched his coach buckle and said he was affected "right off the bat."
"I was running and trying to find somebody and get him some help," Smith said, per the Houston Chronicle. " ... We came in (the locker room). They told us he was all right; told us everything that was going on and then we got each other together and (said), 'We got to finish this game out.'"
The Texans would go on to lose an 18-point lead. Left tackle Duane Brown initially dismissed Kubiak's collapse as having a direct impact on the team's on-field breakdown. After NFL Media's Steve Wyche pointed out that the coach is the normal offensive play-caller, Brown acknowledged there could have been a disconnect.
"Well, maybe, I don't communicate with the coaches that much, but I think that it had some kind of effect on it, now that you bring that up," Brown told Wyche.
All the Texans interviewed afterward said they wanted to win the game for their head coach. Following the loss, there was a sense of lamentation that they couldn't close the deal, but there was something more serious than a football game to consider.
"Obviously, our thoughts are with our head coach right now," J.J. Watt said. "That's a completely different situation, a completely independent situation. That's a real-life situation right there."