Hall of Fame Eagles legend Chuck Bednarik remained in serious condition at a Bethlehem-area hospital two days after experiencing shortness of breath, according to a St. Luke’s Hospital spokesperson.
The 85-year-old Bednarik, though, was improving and was “sitting up in bed and talking” as of Thursday, his son-in-law Ken Safarowic said.
“They’re still running tests on him,” said Safarowic, who is acting as a spokesman for the Bednarik family. “It’s not a heart attack. His heart is as strong as when he was playing. But I think he’ll be in the hospital for a couple more days.”
Nicknamed “Concrete Charlie,” Bednarik was one of the last true 60-minute men, having played center and linebacker for much of his 14 years in the NFL. He played for the Eagles from 1949-62 and was an All-Pro ten times. He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and is one of seven players to have his number retired by the Eagles.
Rumors had swirled that Bednarik had suffered a heart attack after he was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday. Safarowic said that Bednarik had trouble breathing and had to lie down before his wife, Emma, called 911 .
Safarowic did not describe Bednarik’s condition as “serious.”
“I’ve seen him,” Safarowic said. “He’s stable. He never lost consciousness. He’s had no lingering health problems.”
Bednarik’s last formal public appearance in Philadelphia was in September when the Eagles honored its 1960 NFL championship team during the opener. He was embraced warmly by fans.
“I wish I could say he’s resting comfortably, but he’s never been one to be comfortable sitting still,” Safarowic said. “He’s like, ‘Get me the hell out of here. To hell I am going to stay here another day.’”