Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, right, is hugged by general manager Ryan Grigson after he walks onto the field before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Sunday, December 30, 2012 1:18 pm
Pagano makes grand entrance in return to sideline
The Associated Press
With drums playing and the Colts cheerleaders lining up both sides of an inflatable horse, Pagano walked to his usual spot on the sideline, put on his headphones and hugged his assistants. It was his first appearance on the sideline since he began treatment for leukemia Sept. 26.
Pagano's Colts took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards to Andrew Luck's touchdown pass to Coby Fleener. The coach threw his hands in the air and wore a huge smile after Fleener caught the ball to end a 13-play drive.
Some fans brought signs to show their support for Pagano, and the team welcomed him back with a 1-minute video just before kickoff. Afterward, an emotional Pagano waved to the crowd.
During pregame warm-ups, Pagano hugged his wife and was followed by a large group of cameras. He shook hands with Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and chatted with Colts GM Ryan Grigson.
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