The Falcons confirmed his status in a statement following earlier reports about the collision.
“He was stable, alert and responsive and has been transported to University Medical Center New Orleans for medical testing,” the statement reads.
Linebackers coach Frank Bush took over defensive play-calling duties during Sunday’s game, which the Saints won, 21-18.
The Falcons announced after halftime that Pees was released from the hospital and planned to fly back to Atlanta with the team. Head coach Arthur Smith applauded the onsite medical staff after the game.
“Scary moment for him,” Smith said, per ESPN. “Thankfully the Saints doctors and our doctors did a hell of a job, got him evaluated and will continue to monitor him. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of something like that.”
The incident happened during pregame warmups. Per ESPN, Saints punt returner Rashid Shaheed accidentally collided with Pees and sent him falling backward to the SuperDome turf. Medical staff stabilized his neck before taking him off the field on a stretcher.
“I was backing up to catch a punt and I kind of just ran into him,” Shaheed said, per ESPN. …
“I never saw him. I immediately was super concerned. But I got word that he’s back from the hospital, he’s healthy and doing OK. So I’m thankful for that. I’m glad he’s doing OK.
“If he sees this, I’m sorry. My apologies.”
Pees, 73, is in his second season with the Falcons. He has worked as an NFL defensive coordinator for 14 seasons with the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans prior to joining the Falcons in 2021. He started coaching in the NFL as a linebackers coach for Bill Belichick’s Patriots in 2004.
Prior to joining the NFL, Pees spent 25 years on college sidelines including a six-year stint as Kent State’s head coach from 1998-2003.