By Danny Cox
It has been a strange week in the NFL with two premiere coaches having to deal with serious medical problems. Former Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints coach Mike Ditka suffered a minor stroke on Friday, but is now said to be doing alright. Now, thankfully, another coach is doing well after having a minor procedure done for an irregular heartbeat.
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was in and out of the hospital in a day, but it still is something to take seriously.
“They had to do a little procedure, cardiovert,” Harbaugh told the Chicago media as his team prepares for Monday night’s game against the Bears. “Get it back normal. It’s amazing they can do a procedure like that.”
Cardioversion is a procedure that involves an electric shock that gets the heartbeat back into a normal rhythm.
Harbaugh’s procedure was so minor that he even stopped off at the training facility of the 49ers on Thursday. Wide receiver Kyle Williams then let it be known that his coach was escorted out of the building and told to rest.
Even though still serious, Harbaugh said he will be on the sidelines this Monday night for the next 49ers game. This was not the first heart procedure that Harbaugh has had in his life.
“About 13 years ago, I had a cardio ablation for the same thing,” he said. “An atrial flutter is what I have.”
On Wednesday evening, Harbaugh visited with doctors after a bout of feeling ill. It was then that they advised him to have the heart procedure done at Stanford Hospital. Assistant head coach Brad Seely oversaw the 49er team meetings and afternoon practice. He was also the one that informed the team of Harbaugh’s hospitalization during Thursday’s morning walk-through.
Harbaugh insists that the procedure was no big deal, but his players have noticed a change in their coach.
“He’s fine, and if he’s not, he’s not showing it at all,” Williams said Friday on “The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show” on ESPN 1000. “He’s in here; he’s here early. He’s studying tape. He feels good.
“He did show up yesterday for a brief moment, I think they had to run him out of here and make him get some rest. But he wanted to be here. There’s no way they were going to keep him away from this facility for two days straight. He’s in here ready to work and ready to get out there Monday night.”
Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears is a pivotal game as it relates to playoff seeding in the NFC. He may need to spend a little bit more time away from the team, but Harbaugh isn’t going to take off any more.
He said is “full-go” and looking very forward to facing the Bears. Harbaugh was the quarterback for the Bears during seven of his 14 year career in the NFL.
“If you’re a football player, it’s a game you live for. If you’re not, it’s another day at the office,” he said. “I hope it’s everything they live for.”
No matter what may happen on Monday, it is good news that both Harbaugh and Ditka are on the road to recovery.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.