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Sports

Texans’ Kubiak to stay in hospital after collapsing on field


Published:   |   Updated: November 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM

HOUSTON — Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak will remain hospitalized for at least 24 more hours after collapsing on the field at halftime of his team’s 27-24 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday night.

The team released an update on his condition on Monday morning, saying that he “went through a battery of tests.”

The Texans said that Kubiak experienced “dizziness and a light-headed feeling” walking off the field at the end of the second quarter. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The team did not say what caused the problem. but did say the coach didn’t have a heart attack.

General manager Rick Smith said, “Gary is alert, coherent and in good spirits. He is continuing to be evaluated and monitored.”

The Texans said the 52-year-old Kubiak is with his family and more details will be released as they are available.

“There was a lot of unknown,” said defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who coached the team after halftime. “Everything was unknown as to what was going on and what happened to Kube.”

Kubiak hunched over and dropped to his knees at the 24-yard line and was immediately surrounded by medical personnel. He was lifted off the field on a stretcher and taken by cart to the ambulance.

“It’s on your mind when you’re out there playing,” receiver Andre Johnson said. “But you try to focus on the game and just go out and do your job.”

The Texans said Kubiak was conscious as he was taken to the hospital.

Up 21-3 when Kubiak collapsed, the Texans struggled after halftime for their sixth straight loss after opening the season 2-0 with Super Bowl hopes.

Veteran safety Ed Reed didn’t want to blame the loss on what happened to Kubiak.

“I thought we dealt with it well,” Reed said. “We’ve just got to finish.”

Kubiak’s collapse came a day after Denver Broncos coach John Fox was hospitalized in North Carolina as he awaits aortic valve replacement surgery. The 58-year-old Fox will have surgery in a few days and will miss several weeks while recuperating.

Fox had been told earlier about his heart condition and was hoping to put off the operation until February. As part of his trip to North Carolina on a bye week, he met with his cardiologist in Raleigh and was told to seek medical attention immediately if he felt any discomfort.

On Saturday, Fox became dizzy playing golf near his offseason home in Charlotte and was taken to a hospital, where tests revealed he couldn’t wait any longer to have the surgery.

In college, Minnesota coach Jerry Kill took a leave of absence last month so he could better manage and treat his epilepsy. He has had five seizures on game day in his two-plus seasons with the Golden Gophers.

Kubiak has long been known as a top offensive coach, mentoring quarterbacks in Denver under Mike Shanahan and now Matt Schaub — and Case Keenum — in Houston. Kubiak has had no known public health problems.

Kubiak was hired in 2006, along with general manager Rick Smith, after the Texans finished a franchise-worst 2-14. Smith spent 10 years with Kubiak while the coach was offensive coordinator of the Broncos. Smith was Denver’s defensive assistant for four seasons before moving into the front office for his last six years with the Broncos.

The pair has helped transform the Texans, which began play in 2002, from league laughingstock to contender. The team went 6-10 in their first year and 8-8 in each of the next two seasons. Expectations were high in 2010 after Houston finished at 9-7 for its first winning record in 2009. But the Texans instead fell to 6-10, which led to many fans calling for Kubiak’s firing.

His original contract was due to expire after the 2010 season, but owner Bob McNair has stepped up to keep Kubiak and defended him several times amid the bumps. Among recent departures were assistant head coach Alex Gibbs (for Seattle) and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan went to join his father, Mike, in Washington.

Last year, the Texans announced contract extensions for both Smith and Kubiak, rewarding them for taking the team to the playoffs last year for the first time. Kubiak’s three-year agreement has him under contract through 2014.

McNair said at the time he offered Kubiak a four-year deal, but the coach preferred to make it for three.

Kubiak made his mark as Denver’s offensive coordinator under Mike Shanahan, winning two Super Bowls. An eighth-round pick out of Texas A&M, he spent nine years as John Elway’s backup. He finished his career 4-1 as a starter, all in emergency relief of Elway.

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