Week after week, the Washington Football Team finds itself in headlines on a regular basis. First the controversial name change of the organization, then the massive sexual harassment scandal that was reported in The Washington Post. However, there was some positive news over the last two weeks as quarterback Alex Smith reported to practice for the first time since 2018. The appointment of former NFL player Jason Wright as Washington Football Team President was met with positive feedback from critics and fans alike. But now it seems like there’s another challenge that the Washington-based NFL franchise needs to overcome. On Friday, Washington head coach Ron Rivera revealed to the public that he had a confirmed lymph node cancer diagnosis.
Ron Rivera remains optimistic in the wake of cancer diagnosis
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) August 21, 2020
The Washington Football Team released the above statement with regards to Rivera’s cancer diagnosis. 58-year old Rivera moved to Washington in the 2020 offseason. He spent the last eight years as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Rivera famously led the Panthers to the 2015 Super Bowl with star quarterback Cam Newton winning the NFL MVP award that season. Rivera was diagnosed with lymph node cancer two weeks ago. However, he shared this information with his players on Thursday night.
Here is what the man himself said when he interacted with NFL insider Adam Schefter. “Some were stunned. A bunch came up and wished me well. I said, ‘I’m going to be a little more cranky, so don’t piss me off.’ I’m planning to go on coaching. Doctors encouraged me to do it too. They said, ‘If you feel strongly, do it. Don’t slow down, do your physical activities.’ But everyone keeps telling me by week three or four, you’ll start feeling it. I was stunned. But I was angry because I feel like I’m in the best health I’ve been in. I’m going through the proper treatment. This will be fine,” Rivera told Schefter.
More Ron Rivera: “I’m planning to go on coaching. Doctors encouraged me to do it, too. They said, ‘If you feel strongly, do it. Don’t slow down, do your physical activities.’ But everyone keeps telling me by week three or four, you’ll start feeling it.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 21, 2020
Washington start their 2020 NFL campaign with a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.