Pagano: 'Complete Faith' In Coronavirus Precautions

A cancer survivor, Chuck Pagano believes the NFL will enforce safe protocols.

Chris Emma
June 18, 2020 - 2:16 pm

(670 The Score) The NFL is moving forward with plans for enhanced health and safety protocols as it aims to conduct its 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic. For those at a higher health risk like Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, those safety measures are especially important.

As the Colts head coach in 2012, Pagano won a battle with leukemia and even returned to the sidelines later that season. His cancer has been in remission since, and the 59-year-old Pagano has maintained good health as well.

When it comes to the coronavirus, Pagano is taking every precaution and trusts the health measures being planned and implemented by the Bears and NFL. Pagano is far enough removed from his cancer battle that he's not at a severe risk with the coronavirus, he said.

"I'm concerned for everybody, like everybody else is," Pagano said on a teleconference Thursday. "But I've got complete faith in our organization. They've done a phenomenal job, and I applaud the McCaskey family and the leadership from top down, the way they've handled everything. They've put the health and the safety of all of us -- every employee that steps in that building -- first. 

"I know that the protocols that are being set and the way that things are being handled are gonna be top-notch, first-rate. From a medical standpoint, I'm good. I'm far enough removed, I think, from the cancer stuff. I can't let my guard down, like anybody else, so I'll take the necessary precautions and follow orders. 

"I don't think you can just take a sigh of relief and take a big breath and exhale, say, ‘OK, we're all good.' I'll be mindful of everything."

The Bears haven't yet formally reopened Halas Hall to their coaching staff. After teams conducted their offseason programs virtually, the NFL is planning to hold training camps in late July.

Should the NFL move forward with its plans for the season during the pandemic, those entering team facilities will likely be required to take temperature checks. Players and coaches will also receive multiple coronavirus tests. Guidelines for social distancing and face coverings will also become a normal part of daily work.

No Bears player or coach has publicly expressed concerns with returning to work in recent conversations with the media.

"I don't feel like there are going to be a lot of people in this world going back to work that are going to be as safe as we are," Bears inside linebackers coach Mark DeLeone said. "I feel like there will be great precautions. I feel really good about that."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.