Falcons DC Dean Pees taken off on stretcher after pregame collision

NEW ORLEANS — Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pease was taken off the field on a stretcher after a collision with a New Orleans Saints player before the teams’ game on Sunday.

Medical staff and coaches surrounded Pease at the 35-yard line for several minutes before carts and stretchers appeared on the field. They worked to stabilize Pees’ neck before placing him on a trolley and leading him off the field.

According to the team, Pees was “alert and responsive before being taken to the University of New Orleans Medical Center for medical testing.” Linebackers coach Frank Bush will run the defense against the Saints on Sunday.

Falcons safety Eric Harris was one of the players who checked on Pease before he was taken off the field. Head coach Arthur Smith, general manager Terry Fonteno, team president Rick McKay and owner Arthur Blank surrounded Pease after the crash.

At 73, Pease is the oldest defensive coordinator in the NFL. After the Falcons hired Smith, he came back from retirement and played two seasons in Atlanta.

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