After he led the Colts during a season in which their head coach battled Leukemia and was absent for much of the year, Bruce Arians will miss their playoff game today, and instead he’ll watch it from a hospital due to an illness.
The Colts made the announcement less than an hour before kickoff in Baltimore, but assured everyone that Arians is “doing fine.” He missed practices this week with what the team is calling a case of the flu. Now Clyde Christensen will call the plays in the absence of the Colts’ offensive coordinator who’s also a candidate for coach of the year after his leadership with Pagano out that led to a playoff birth, when a season ago Indy won only two games and held the first overall pick.
It’s difficult to avoid playing amateur physiologist here. But it’s also easy to conclude that the loss of their regular play caller who’s groomed Andrew Luck throughout the season will have an obvious impact. How significant that impact is remains to be seen, as although he certainly isn’t viewed with the same respect Arians has received for what he’s done this season, at least Christensen has experience as an offensive coordinator after holding that position over the last two years.
Last night Christian Ponder was scratched an hour before gametime, and now this. Welcome to the 2013 playoffs, guys.