Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera remains on track to beat squamous cell cancer.
Rivera discovered the cancer before the season began and has been undergoing regular treatment that has, at times, left him unable to run the team’s practices. Assistant coach Jack Del Rio has filled in.
Rivera said his final treatment will take place on Monday.
“I met with both doctors this week on Tuesday and Thursday,” Rivera said. “They both are very positive about the progress I’ve made. So far, so good. I’ve got follow ups, check ups and scans still left to do. What I’ve been told is it’s headed in the right direction.”
Rivera has looked visibly trained at times during the treatment process. At practice he often takes in the workout from a golf cart so he can remain seated. At games, he has received IV treatments and sat on the bench during timeouts.
Normally NFL coaches work long hours in season, but Rivera said that hasn’t been the case for him.
“Traditionally, you’re here until 8:30, 9:30, 11 o’clock at night,” he said. “I hit 5 o’clock and I’ve got to go home. The fatigue, really, like I told my wife, is like having a 300-pound gorilla on my back.”
Rivera has been closely watched by doctors, but he’s been determined to work through the treatment.
Friends, family and players have worn shirts that say “Rivera Strong,” and tributes have poured in from across the football world.
Once he gets his final treatment, he will still be recovering from their effects for three or four weeks.
He said the symptoms have been tough in their unpredictability.
“There are certain things that pop up all of a sudden, side effects that you have — the fatigue, how tired you get, at times you get nauseous,” he said. “The fatigue and going out to practice and stuff, it limited me and that really bothers me because I can’t really coach the way I coach. That’s hard. But being out there and not being able to just get into it the way I normally would, that was hard for me.”
Haskins fined: Benched Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins made a reservation for a family friend at the team hotel last weekend in New York, something that is prohibited under NFL coronavirus protocols.
The news was first reported Friday afternoon by ESPN. The amount of the fine was reported at $4,833.
Haskins had missed two of the team’s three practices in the week leading up to the game with an illness.
Fans to return: The Washington Football Team will allow about 3,000 fans into the stadium for a Nov. 8 game against the New York Giants.
Seats will be offered to season ticket holders first, in order of how long they have had tickets with the team.
Washington’s only game played in front of fans was in Cleveland, where about 6,000 fans were permitted to watch the Browns play. After the game, many Washington players expressed that even the small number of fans made a big difference in the atmosphere at the stadium.
For Sunday’s game against Dallas, the current rules will still apply, which allow only immediate family members to attend.
Injury report: Washington will be without receivers Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty) and Isaiah Wright on Sunday. Offensive lineman Geron Christian (knee) is questionable. If he is unable to play, Cornelius Lucas would fill in at left tackle. Rookie Saahdiq Charles, who was moved from tackle to guard last week, will not play due to a knee injury.
Riveras donate to Cal softball: Ron and Stephanie Rivera made a $500,000 donation to the softball program at their alma mater.
The gift was part of a gender equity fundraising campaign at the school.
“One of the things that Stephanie and I believe in is gender equity,” Rivera said. “We did it because we really do truly believe that gender equity is important. We want to create the same kinds of opportunities for women going forward.
“One of the things we have learned is that women that participate in NCAA sports are successful in life. We just want to help create a positive environment.”