Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on the field during a game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, petrifying the home crowd as he was wheeled away on a stretcher.
The 52-year-old coach was walking near the 20-yard line just after halftime started when he slowly bent over and then collapsed.
Late Sunday night, the Texans announced that Kubiak was conscious at a local hospital and that his family was with him.
“All his vital signs are good,” said defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who stepped in as interim head coach. “He did not have a heart attack, but they’re still checking on everything with him.”
In a post-game news conference, Phillips recalled his confusion in the moments after Kubiak’s collapse, describing it as “a shock to everybody.”
“I was traveling in and I saw him on the ground and I kept asking, ‘What happened?'” he said. “And that’s kind of what happened with everybody.”
‘It looked serious’
One Texans player, defensive end Antonio Smith, said he saw Kubiak collapse.
“He went down to his knee and couldn’t get back up and looked like he was having trouble breathing,” he said after the game.
“It looked serious because he couldn’t get back up and everyone was surrounding him.”
Kubiak was tended to by a flock of medial staff as he lay on the field. He was eventually wheeled out on a stretcher.
“We finally got word that they took him to the hospital, but we were unsure of everything,” Phillips said.
Concern from both teams
The Colts went on to win the game 27-24, even though the Texans led 21-3 at halftime. But Phillips refused to use Kubiak’s collapse as an excuse for the defeat, saying Houston had opportunities in the second half.
“When the game was on the line, we didn’t play well enough,” he said.
“We were very concerned at halftime,” Texans tackle Duane Brown said. “We actually were more motivated if anything to try to go out and get the win. But once we were out there and started playing again, it didn’t stick around in our minds too much.”
Houston’s opponents also voiced their concern about Kubiak. Colts owner Jim Irsay offered his support to the Texans’ coach.
“Big time prayers for Coach Kubiak,” Irsay tweeted. “God bless his healthy return and ease his family’s worry and concern.”