Ron Rivera shared the shocking news that he has cancer and will be treating it as he coaches the Washington Football Team this year. He was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma after discovering a lump on his neck in July. He learned he had cancer two weeks ago, and informed the team, and the world, yesterday.
This form of cancer is very treatable if caught early enough, but we don't know exactly how far along it is at the moment. Treatments can include immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Rivera sounds positive as he begins this battle, and has been encouraged by his doctors to coach if he feels strong enough.
Rivera did say that there was a Plan B if treating his cancer takes him away from his duties as head coach. Everyone assumed Plan B was Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio, And that has been confirmed by Ian Rapoport.
Jack Del Rio was the head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-2011. He also led the Oakland Raiders from 2015-2017 before leaving coaching, and starting his broadcasting career. Del Rio also has experience filling in for a Head Coach who has a health issue, taking over for John Fox to coach the Denver Broncos for 4 games in 2013(3-1 record) when he had aortic valve replacement.
Everyone hopes that Plan B doesn't need to be used, and Rivera has a quick, and full recovery. The world is also dealing with COVID-19, and the added risks associated with it for cancer patients and others. Ron Rivera is a fighter, and will do whatever he can to beat this and coach this year. We all wish him well and hope for a speedy recovery!
The hope for Washington coach Ron Rivera is to coach — uninterrupted — thru the 2020 season as he receives treatment for squamous cell carcinoma. If he has to go to Plan B, I’m told DC Jack Del Rio would assume head coach duties. Del Rio has more than a decade of HC experience.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 21, 2020
Was told: Del Rio steps in if Rivera must miss any time. Expectation is would only miss during the week. If team needs to be addressed, Del Rio would be the guy. Remember: 3-1 as an interim coach in Denver.— John Keim (@john_keim) August 21, 2020
I think we all gathered Ron Rivera’s coaching "Plan B" if he needs to step away while undergoing cancer treatments is def. coordinator and 2x NFL head coach Jack Del Rio. Rivera said as much today on the team site: pic.twitter.com/itQ43h4ylP— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) August 21, 2020