Former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, who left his position running the Dolphins offense in the preseason to tend to his health, is feeling good and ready to return to the sideline, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Caldwell, who was one of the most successful coaches in Lions history and is well respected around the game, should be considered for head coaching openings and has strong support from the NFL league office.
Caldwell, 64, took an indefinite leave from the Dolphins, where he was set to be a huge resource for rookie head coach Brian Flores after interviewing for head coaching jobs in 2019. He could end up back with Miami, though other teams will likely consider him for their head coaching openings.
Caldwell is long noted for his leadership, preparation, steady hand and work with quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford, and the Lions have been reeling since dismissing him despite a winning tenure there.
With several owners believing their teams would be best served by hiring a proven NFL head coach with a deep track record, Caldwell should be well positioned with any health issues behind him.
Coming back after a one-year hiatus would not be without precedent. Bruce Arians returned to coaching last year following a one-year retirement after battling cancer, and former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano returned to the sidelines after missing most of a season following a cancer diagnosis.