|Head coach Mike Smith is expected to undergo further testing after the team’s game Thursday night. (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
UPDATE: Thursday, December 15, 1:45 p.m. ET -- The Falcons deny that Smith continues to experience chest pains. Falcons V.P. of Football Communications Reggie Roberts told the Atlanta Journal Constitution D. Orlando Ledbetter that Smith “feels fine,” adding that “He spent the week preparing his team for the nationally televised game against Jacksonville. Smith had a previously scheduled appointment. It was made after he left the hospital in Charlotte.”
Following the Falcons' 31-23 victory over the Panthers Sunday, head coach Mike Smith was rushed to a Charlotte-area hospital with chest pains while the team boarded their charter plane back to Atlanta. The Falcons indicated later Sunday evening that the incident was a "non-emergency" and "reaffirmed his health," adding that he was "resting comfortably."
On Wednesday, sources told TSX’s Len Pasquarelli that Smith has continued to experience chest-related discomfort and is expected to undergo further testing after the team’s game Thursday night.
The Falcons host the Jaguars Thursday in a matchup that has playoff implications for Atlanta. Entering Week 15, they're the No. 5 seed in the NFC. At 8-5, they share the same record with the Lions (No. 6 seed), and have a one-game lead over the Bears (No. 7) and Cowboys (No. 8).
After this week's game with the Jaguars, Atlanta travels to New Orleans in Week 16 before wrapping up the regular season at home against Tampa Bay.
Hopefully, Smith, who is just 52, will be on the sidelines, completely healthy, to coach his team.
Earlier Wednesday, Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips announced that he was taking a medical leave to undergo surgery for a kidney condition.
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