2016 was fraught with adversity for the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Bruce Arians. On the field, the team missed the playoffs after a 7-8-1 campaign. But wins and losses pale in comparison to the news Arians received late in the year.
The 64-year-old Arians revealed in his new book “The Quarterback Whisperer” that his doctor told him he had kidney cancer in December after an ultrasound detected a renal cell carcinoma. Arians battled through it, though, coaching the rest of the season before undergoing surgery in February. The procedure removed a “small portion” of his kidney.
Bruce Arians Reveals He Dealt With Cancer Scare in December
But he emphasizes that he now has a clean bill of health and will be on the sidelines for the 2017 season and potentially beyond that.
“Now I feel great,” Arians wrote in an excerpt of the book the Cardinals official website released on Wednesday. “My energy has returned. I’m told I’m cancer-free again. I’m ready for at least one more season of NFL football – maybe more.”
A two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year (2012 and 2014), Arians has fought and won battles with the disease before. Ten years ago, he successfully defeated prostate cancer while he had cancerous cells taken off his nose in 2013.
“I now realize more than ever nothing is guaranteed in life,” Arians continued. “Every day needs to enjoyed and celebrated to the fullest. Roses need to be smelled, sunsets savored, time with family cherished. Moving forward, I want to be a beacon of hope for others struggling with cancer. My fight is their fight. I’m not coaching for myself in 2017; I’m coaching for everyone who’s dealing with cancer. This is my charge.”
The Cardinals first training camp practice takes place July 22nd at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. They open the preseason in Arlington, TX with a nationally televised game against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, August 3rd (8 PM ET, NBC). Their first game of the 2017 regular season is also on the road as they face the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday, September 10th (1 PM ET, FOX).