The Washington Football Team celebrated a blowout 25-3 victory at home Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys, though the game was played in wet and undesirable conditions for a man with a weakened immune system.
Despite battling the elements amid the coronavirus pandemic, Washington head coach Ron Rivera finished the game before heading in for his final round of cancer treatment less than 24 hours after kickoff.
Rivera has been coaching the Burgundy and Gold since the announcement on Aug. 20 that he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) located in a lymph node, which was detected from a self-care check.
The cancer was caught in its early stages and deemed very treatable and curable. Rivera, despite having to receive IV treatment at halftime of a game earlier this season, did not miss a contest.
He completed seven weeks of chemotherapy and proton treatments as he rang the bell at Inova Schar Cancer Institute hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, after walking by nurses and doctors who threw celebratory confetti down upon him.
Rivera still has to consult with doctors for follow-up treatments and monitoring, but the physicians who have worked with Rivera are reportedly optimistic about his progress so far.
He garnered support from his former team, the Carolina Panthers, which tweeted “#KeepPounding,” and Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner said he “is happy for him that he has pushed through this part of his recovery.”
“We’re all behind Rivera,” Turner said.
Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said he was genuinely inspired by how Rivera has performed and responded during this process.
“We all admire his toughness,” Del Rio said. “He’s obviously in a big battle, a personal battle. We all feel for him. We pray for him a lot. We seek to kind of carry on. He’s laid out a great blueprint for us to follow.
“I’ll step in and do my part to help him rest assured that he can take care of himself, and we’re going to carry on the business here while he’s taking care of himself,” he said. “His toughness and his determination, it really stands out.”