CANTON, Ohio — After 32 years as an NFL assistant, Vic Fangio wasn't missing his head-coaching debut — not even after a kidney stone sent him to a Cleveland-area hospital for a CT scan.
Fangio, who said he has dealt with the issue once before, arrived in Canton on the team's second wave of buses and coached his team to a 14-10, come-from-behind victory.
"It wasn't too bad [during the game]," Fangio said after his first preseason win. "By the time I left the hospital, things were under control. I don't believe I've passed them yet. It [had] done most of its traveling by the time I left there."
Fangio said there was only a 20- to 40-minute window on Thursday afternoon when he wasn't sure if he was going to coach. In the end, though, he said "it was never in question."
Besides, as he noted afterward, the best medicine for his ailment was waiting at Tom Benson Stadium, and it came in the form of a 14-yard Juwann Winfree touchdown with just over 90 seconds to play.
"As we all know, nobody is in there doing cheetah flips and cartwheels about that, like they would in a regular-season game, but winning's cured more ills than penicillin," Fangio said. "It's always nice to win."
Yet while Fangio downplayed the ailment to the media, his players took notice.
"Coach coming back? That's a dog right there," safety Will Parks said. "That's a fighter. That's a dude that didn't want to give up on his team.
"I think that just shows his courage and how much he believes in us."