Rivera has been coaching all season while battling squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer located in the lymph nodes. He was diagnosed back in August, but he continued coaching and just rang the victory bell in his fight against cancer.
Ron Rivera was diagnosed with cancer in August
Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his lymph nodes on Aug. 21. It was a dark and scary day for the Riveras and his Washington football family, but thankfully, doctors caught the disease in its early stages.
The longtime Carolina Panthers head coach started undergoing chemotherapy right before the 2020 season kicked off. Even though he was in the toughest fight of his life, Rivera was still on the sidelines for the Football Team’s season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
During halftime of the Week 1 matchup, Rivera received an IV in the locker room so he could continue to coach from the sidelines. He returned to the field for the second half and even led Washington to a 27-17 victory to start the year 1-0.
Rivera continued his chemo treatments throughout the season and missed only two practices due to the side effects. He didn’t miss a single game through seven weeks.
After the Football Team’s dominant win against the Cowboys on Sunday, Rivera accomplished an even bigger feat the next morning.
Rivera just had his final cancer treatment
After two months of chemotherapy, Rivera underwent his final cancer treatment on Monday morning at Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C. The Football Team’s official Twitter account shared a video of Rivera walking down the hallway and ringing the victory bell, and it could make even the toughest football fan emotional.
All the doctors and other employees in the hospital lined the hallway with “Rivera Strong” T-shirts on their backs, ringing bells and waving pom-poms to celebrate Rivera’s biggest win to date.
Of course, Rivera donned his Washington Football Team mask as he made his victory lap.
The head coach will still have to return for scans in the future, but he said “it’s headed in the right direction.”
The Washington Football Team is right in the thick of the NFC playoff race
Being the competitor that he is, Rivera probably left the hospital and immediately shifted his focus to Washington’s upcoming matchup against the New York Giants. The Football Team is only 2-5 through seven weeks of the season, but they’re still right in the thick of the NFC playoff race.
The NFC is a historically bad division in 2020. Somehow, the Eagles hold a slim lead at 2-4-1, but Washington is one win and an Eagles loss from overtaking them for first place. The Football Team is scheduled to play four games in a row against teams with losing records, so the NFC East is theirs to control as much as it is any other team in the division.
Rivera already defeated his toughest opponent of the year, and now he gets to shift all his focus to a playoff run in 2020.