Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees left the field on a stretcher after colliding with a New Orleans Saints player during the warm-up for both teams before the game on Sunday.
Medical staff and coaches surrounded Pees for several minutes at the 35-yard line before a cart and stretcher pulled him off the field. Caregivers worked to stabilize Pees’ neck before evacuating him.
Pees was “alert and responsive, then transported to New Orleans University Medical Center for medical testing,” according to the team. Linebackers coach Frank Bush will act as defensive coordinator against the Saints.
Falcons safety Erik Harris was among the players watching Pees before he was cleared. Head coach Arthur Smith, general manager Terry Fontenot, team president Rick McKay and owner Arthur Blank were also among those who surrounded Pees after the collision.
Pees, 73, is the NFL’s longest-serving defensive coordinator. He has been in Atlanta for two seasons after coming out of retirement once the Falcons hired Smith.