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Chris Mortensen diagnosed with throat cancer

Chris Mortensen

ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen has been diagnosed with throat cancer and, as such, will step away from his duties to battle his disease. Suzy Kolber made the announcement Friday during "NFL Insiders."

"More than a week ago, I was diagnosed with a Stage IV throat cancer," Mortensen said in a statement. "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."

Mortensen, a quarter-century veteran of ESPN, is a titan of the football reporting industry. His son Alex, a former Arkansas and Samford quarterback, is a graduate assistant at Alabama.

Here's hoping for a swift and healthy recovery, Mort.