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ESPN's Chris Mortensen Has Been Diagnosed With Stage IV Cancer

We've got some terrible news out of Bristol, Connecticut this Friday afternoon. ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen, who has been with the network since 1991, has been diagnosed with Stage IV throat cancer. Mortensen announced the news the afternoon, adding that he'll be taking a leave of absence while he fights the disease.

"More than a week ago, I was diagnosed with a Stage IV throat cancer," Mortensen said in a statement Friday. "My focus shifted significantly to gathering information about the specifics of this cancer. The initial diagnosis was confirmed Friday and there is another test remaining that will determine the best possible treatment plan that will commence in the very immediate future.

"Consequently, with the support and encouragement from ESPN president John Skipper and many others at ESPN, I am temporarily stepping away from my normal NFL coverage duties to better engage this opportunity to fight the good fight that is projected to affect almost 1.7 million Americans with new cases in 2016.

"I have many inspirational examples of men, women and children who have faced this very fight. We all know somebody, right? I also have the love and prayers of my wife Micki, my family, my friends, colleagues and, most of all, my faith that serve as sources of tremendous strength. I have a peace about this and look forward to the battle."

Obviously, we wish Mortensen the best. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mortensen, his family and his friends.