Heart surgery likely for John Fox
Denver Broncos head coach John Fox is expected to have heart valve surgery this week that could sideline him for up to two months, according to a team official.
Fox was hospitalized Saturday after feeling light-headed while playing golf in the Charlotte, N.C., area.
Tests were conducted Saturday and will continue Sunday, according to a source familiar with the situation.
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Broncos coach John Fox was admitted to the hospital on Saturday. If doctors tell him to take a break from his duties, Fox's staff could step in, writes Jeff Legwold. Blog
Fox could need one of two different types of surgery to correct the valve in his heart, per a source. The more severe one would be expected to sideline him two months. The less severe option would sideline him for a shorter period.
One person debriefed on the details believed this was not a condition to risk and considered surgery likely.
Fox also was aware that he had a condition with a heart valve that eventually would require surgery. He was hoping to avoid it until after this season but when he experienced light-headedness on the golf course, his timeline very well might have been expedited.
While Fox is away from the team, offensive coordinator Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio are expected to have added duties.
The Broncos released a statement Saturday confirming that the 58-year-old Fox was taken to a hospital.
"Denver Broncos Head Coach John Fox was taken to a Charlotte-area hospital after feeling light-headed while playing golf on Saturday," the Broncos' statement said. "He is being held at the hospital for testing and further observation. Our medical staff is currently in contact with Coach Fox, his family and the doctors who are treating him.
"Additional information will be provided as it becomes available."
Fox claimed he is "doing fine" in a text message sent to ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
"I am doing fine," Fox said in the text message. "We are just running some tests, will know more in a few hours."
Sources initially told ESPN that Fox had experienced symptoms similar to a heart attack. But Broncos executive director of media relations Patrick Smyth tweeted that Fox did not suffer a heart attack.
Fox was with a group of friends and family on a golf course near his offseason home when he started feeling dizzy, Smyth said.
The Broncos (7-1), who are on their bye this week, will play their next game Nov. 10, against the San Diego Chargers.
Fox, who is in his third season with Denver, has compiled a 28-12 record with the Broncos.
Denver won the AFC West title in each of its first two seasons under Fox, who also coached the Carolina Panthers to the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. He's 107-88 overall, including 6-5 in the playoffs.