Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians -- a candidate for the Bears' head coaching job -- still is in a Baltimore hospital and is in good spirits but will not be released until his blood pressure is "under control."
Arians was admitted to the hospital Sunday with an undisclosed illness and missed the Colts' 24-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC wild-card game at M&T Bank Stadium.
''[He's] expected to be back any time -- any time real soon,'' Pagano said at a season wrap-up press conference Monday at the Colts' practice facility in Indianapolis. ''Every test they ran on Bruce -- and obviously they put him through a battery of tests from A to Z -- all have been negative.
''He's doing well. They would have let him come home early this morning. But whatever he's dealing with has affected his blood pressure and they're not going to release him until they get the blood pressure under control. Which they will. But we expect him here any time. I talked to his wife through texts this morning. And he's doing well and in good spirits and all that stuff. We'll be glad to get him back.''
When Arians returns, he might not stay for long. The Bears, Eagles and Browns have received permission to interview him for their head coaching vacancies. And the Chargers also have expressed interest.
''We do not want to lose Bruce Arians. We do not want to lose Bruce,'' Pagano said with emphasis. ''He is so valuable to this organization -- what he means to this organization and what he's done.
On the other hand, Pagano, who became a head coach for the first time at 52 after 28 years in football, knows it will be difficult to keep Arians if the Bears or other teams offer him a head coaching job.
''I want the best for Bruce,'' Pagano said. ''I want the best for his family. I want him to achieve and reach any goals he's had for himself throughout his coaching years. It's a hard spot. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.''
Arians, 60, has been an assistant coach in the NFL for 20 years. He was let go by the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2011 season before being hired by the Colts. Pagano, who was the Ravens' defensive coordinator for four years prior to getting the Colts' job last year, said Arians ''is more than qualified'' to be a head coach in the NFL.
''Absolutely,'' Pagano said. ''We were together in Cleveland. Obviously played against him for four years in my time spent in Baltimore [when Arians was with the Steelers]. I just know throughout the league that he's very well respected.
''Everybody has a window. And there's going to be a time and a place that opportunity presents itself. Bruce has all the qualities to be outstanding head football coach. Great technician. He knows the game. He's great with players. Good leader. Good motivator. I'm not surprised that people would be interested [in] Bruce.''