Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is winning his battle with leukemia.
On Monday, Dr. Larry Cripe, Pagano’s physician, said the illness which has sidelined Indianapolis’ head coach for more than a month was in “complete remission.” Cripe said a morning exam showed Pagano’s white blood cell count and bone marrow tests were normal as he prepares to start a second round of chemotherapy.
The doctor explained patients typically undergo three rounds of treatment to wipe out any potentially lingering cancer cells. The second round of chemo is scheduled to start later this week and will last four to six weeks, Cripe said.
“His (blood cell) count was great,” interim coach Bruce Arians said. “He knows that this next one (round) is going to be really tough and we’re praying for him, and he’s going to be fine.”
COWBOYS: Dismissing speculation that he might be interested in Sean Payton, owner Jerry Jones said he has “a lot of faith” in coach Jason Garrett and has no idea whether the suspended New Orleans Saints coach might be available next season.
Payton was suspended for the season by the NFL for his role in the bounty scandal. The league has taken issue with a clause in the contract extension he agreed to more than a year ago, which was to have kept him in New Orleans through 2015.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking to reporters before the Cowboys lost to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night, said he does not know whether Payton might become a coaching free agent after the season.
“The one contract that they sent in to us … we told them what the issue was,” Goodell said. “Now it’s up to the team and Sean Payton. So until I get something back, it’s up to them.”
VIKINGS: Wide receiver Percy Harvin was using crutches the day after suffering what appeared to be a badly sprained left ankle, sounding pessimistic about his ability to play this Sunday.
Coach Leslie Frazier said Monday the Vikings were “hoping to have him” against Detroit but that “it’s too early to tell.”
JAGUARS: Will be without running back Maurice Jones-Drew for Thursday night’s game against Indianapolis.
Coach Mike Mularkey ruled Jones-Drew out Monday, no surprise since he’s still wearing a walking boot on his sprained left foot and using a push cart to get around the facility.
RAIDERS: Running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both have high ankle sprains that leave their status in doubt for the upcoming week.