Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – Some of the Houston Texans players saw it happen. Others heard about it in the locker room. But either way the situation was one a player never expects to be in. One where the players are concerned for their coach’s health.
Head coach Gary Kubiak had a dizzy spell and collapsed down to one knee on the sideline at the end of the first half of the Houston Texans loss to the Indianapolis Colts 27-24. Kubiak was seen by medical personnel and taken off the field on a stretcher before being transferred to a local hospital.
“It was really weird. Someone came in and started yelling for a trainer,” Texans starting QB Case Keenum said after the game. “They said that (Gary Kubiak) had passed out, and we were all very worried. When we went back out, they told us that he was alright, that he was stable. They didn’t know what was going on yet. Obviously we were all upset about that but trying to stay focused at the same time.”
The Texans entered the half up 21-3 over the division leading Colts, but the players wouldn’t use losing their coach halfway through the game as an excuse for the loss.
“This is a family-oriented team and I saw it when it happened. So it kind of affected me right off the bat,” Texans defensive end Antonio Smith said about seeing his coach go to the ground. “I was running and trying to find somebody and get him some help. But I know he would want us to finish the game and to fight, so that’s what the mood was in the locker room. We came in, they told us he was all right, told us everything that was going on and then we got each other together and we got to finish this game out.”
But not everyone thought focus was always on the field.
“It’s definitely something you think about,” Andre Johnson said of losing his head coach at halftime. “It’s on your mind when you’re out there playing, but you try to focus on the game and just go out and do your job. You try not to – you have to try to block it out. But at the same time, it’s something you still think about.”
The Texans only added a field goal in the second half of play, and allowed 24 points after the indecent with Kubiak. But as far as the players were concerned Kubiak’s health wasn’t an issue.
“We were told before we went out there that he was stable. He was OK, but they were taking him to the doctor for precautionary reasons,” Guard Wade Smith said. “That isn’t an excuse for what we did out there in the second half. We came out there, and we lost the game instead of winning.”
But while it wasn’t an excuse to play poorly, the news obviously had some affect on the players, like running back Ben Tate.
“Of course, it’s shocking. You don’t think anything like that would happen to him,” Tate said. “He’s a guy who is mostly in good shape, he’s in good health. I mean, it was tough, but we still had a game to go out and play.”
Linebacker Darryl Sharpton talked about the effect not having Kubiak on the sidelines for the second half.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about Coach,” Sharpton said. “But I feel like we still played with maximum effort and we tried to execute the best we could and follow the game plan accordingly.”
“Very worried. I’ve never heard of anything like that ever happening,” Brooks Reed said of his coach getting taken to the hospital. “I didn’t see it. I was really surprised. But I’m very happy he’s doing good right now.”
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