Aug 19, 2020; Ashburn, Virginia, USA; Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera stands on the field on day twenty-two of training camp at Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Washington’s Rivera will coach through cancer treatment

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera told ESPN’s Adam Schefter he has lymph node cancer, but that it is “treatable and curable,” and he intends to continue coaching.

The team announced later Thursday that Rivera, 58, has squamous cell cancer of the neck.

Squamous cell cancer is a skin cancer that can spread throughout the body and even lead to death if gone untreated, but if caught early it can be cured. It is the second most common form of skin cancer, according to skincancer.org.

“I’m planning to go on coaching,” Rivera told Schefter. “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’m going through the proper treatment. This will be fine.”

Rivera is 76-63-1 as a head coach, all with the Carolina Panthers from 2011-19. He is 3-4 in the postseason.

He was hired by Washington this offseason to take on a team in transition, both on and off the field. The club is confronting an alleged culture of sexual harassment, and it scrapped its longtime nickname after years of pressure and a building outcry from corporate sponsors.

While Rivera plans to continue in his job, he did say there’s a Plan B in place should the need arise, but he didn’t specify what that would be.

Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is the only other coach on Washington’s staff with head-coaching experience, with the Jacksonville Jaguars and then-Oakland Raiders. He was 93-94 as a head coach, 1-3 in the playoffs.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
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