Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera said Thursday he has been diagnosed with cancer.
Rivera made the disclosure to ESPN’s Adam Schefter after informing the team. According to Rivera, the cancer is in its early stages and is “very treatable and curable.” The coach added, however, that there is a “Plan B” in place should he need to step aside during treatment.
Schefter later reported that Rivera has a “squamous cell cancer” in his neck. Squamous cell carcinoma is a treatable form of skin cancer.
To be clear and specific, Washington HC Ron Rivera has Squamous cell cancer of his neck. He was diagnosed with it two weeks ago. He told his team about it tonight. He plans to go on coaching this season, but has set up backup plans as well.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 21, 2020
Washington hired Rivera, 58, last January to replace Jay Gruden. The longtime NFL coach was available after he was fired by the Panthers following Week 13 last season.
Carolina tweeted its support for Rivera after learning the news, using the saying “Keep Pounding.” Rivera turned those words into a mantra during his nine-year tenure with the club.
Rivera has become a key figure in the Washington organization over the past 7 1/2 months. In addition to his coaching work during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has led a culture change within the franchise and assisted majority owner Daniel Snyder in deciding on a new team nickname.