Bruce Arians reveals he coached in 2016 with kidney cancer

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians’ health issues in 2016 became a big story. We only knew a small bit of it.

In his new book, “The Quarterback Whisperer,” Arians said he was diagnosed with kidney cancer last December (h/t to Darren Urban at the Cardinals’ web site). Arians had a small portion of his kidney removed in February.

Arians went in to get a hernia checked and an ultrasound revealed a small spot on his kidney that was renal cell carcinoma. He continued to coach through the end of the season.

“Now I feel great,” Arians wrote, via “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.”

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The last part, about his future, will be a regular question for Arians from here on out. It took a while for Arians to get his first head-coaching job, and he’s 64 years old. Arians might coach many more years, but his age and recent health issues puts that in doubt. He has done a great job with the Cardinals, but last season he missed a preseason game with diverticulitis and in November he was hospitalized with chest pains. Arians also tore his rotator cuff when Larry Fitzgerald hugged him too hard celebrating a late-season win at Seattle.

Urban writes that Arians battled prostate cancer in 2007 and had some cancerous cells scraped off his nose in 2013.

“Moving forward, I want to be a beacon of hope for others struggling with cancer,” Arians wrote. “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 are coming off a disappointing 7-8-1 season. Knowing all that Arians went through last season, coaching his team to seven wins is pretty impressive. Arians is probably hoping for a better record this year, but it would be a great season if he doesn’t have to deal with any more health scares.

Bruce Arians revealed in his new book he was diagnosed with cancer last year. (AP)
Bruce Arians revealed in his new book he was diagnosed with cancer last year. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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