TEMPE, Ariz. — With his team in the midst of a highly disappointing season, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was in the hospital Monday after feeling ill overnight, the team said.
The Cardinals issued a statement saying the 64-year-old coach was not feeling well Sunday night after returning home from Arizona's game in Minnesota and his wife took him to the hospital.
All tests conducted so far had come back favorably, the team said. Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu said in a tweet, “My guy BA just text me, he will be OK.”
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said he spoke with the coach.
“(He) says he is resting comfortably, and that he's feeling better,” Fitzgerald said. “… He didn't go into specific details when I talked to him. From what I heard, he just wasn't feeling well, and being precautionary, he wanted to make sure he was OK.”
Fitzgerald, speaking to reporters in a news conference that was held in place of Arians' usual Monday session, said the players bear some responsibility for Arians' health issues.
“It is stressful when we're playing bad,” Fitzgerald said. “We were 13-3 last year and he was feeling good, so as a player, you feel probably responsible for what's happening and the stress on him not feeling well. I think a lot of that falls on our shoulders, and we don't feel good about it.”
Arizona lost 30-24 to the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis on Sunday. With almost everyone returning from last season's 13-3 team, the Cardinals were expected to be Super Bowl contenders but are 4-5-1 through 10 games.
Arians, often highly animated on the sidelines, is one of the NFL's more colorful personalities. His profanity-laced dialogue was a highlight of the “All or Nothing” video series by NFL Films chronicling the Cardinals' 2015 season.
He was also hospitalized overnight during the preseason after doubling over with stomach pains as his team was practicing with the Chargers in San Diego. After he left the hospital, Arians said the pain was caused by diverticulitis. He said he would further adjust his diet, something he said he already had begun to do.
“He's not the only 60-plus-year-old man in our country dealing with health issues,” Fitzgerald said. “I think that is pretty common for someone his age, but obviously he is in a stressful situation being head coach. But coach takes care of himself. He works out every single day in the training room. He eats right.”
Assistant head coach Tom Moore took Arians' place in Monday's meetings.
Fitzgerald, in his 13th NFL season and one of the team captains, said Arians' hospitalization put the game of football in perspective.
“I think it really punctuates how fragile life can be,” he said. “At times when you are in the midst of a season and things are not going the way you want them to go, you lose sight of that. You feel like the world is closing in on you. You go out to eat at restaurants and people are telling you how bad you're playing, so you kind of lose sight of real-world perspective. I think something like this snaps you back to reality.”
An assistant coach for decades, Arians became interim head coach at Indianapolis in 2012 when Chuck Pagano left for treatment of leukemia. The team went 9-3 under Arians and he was named NFL coach of the year.
He took the head coaching job with Arizona the following season, guiding the team to a 10-6 record and won a second coach of the year honor after guiding Arizona to an 11-5 mark in 2014.
Overall, the Cardinals are 38-18-1 under Arians.
Arizona plays at Atlanta next Sunday, and there was no word on whether the coach would be there.
“I don't think any of us have the right to tell him to stay away,” Fitzgerald said. “We're wired to be able to participate and do our job, and I know coach, he is the most fiery of the whole group.”