Commanders

Commanders' Ron Rivera Awarded for Overcoming Adversity

Despite losing 30 pounds and being forced to take IVs during halftime of games, Commanders head coach Rivera never missed a game and led Washington to an NFC East title

PFWA honors Ron Rivera as 2022 George Halas Award recipient originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera has been named the recipient of the 2022 George Halas Award, Pro Football Writers of America announced Monday.

The George Halas Award is given out annually to the player, coach or staff member who "overcomes the most adversity to succeed," according to the organization.

Rivera was presented the award last Friday during Commanders rookie minicamp by PWFA member and ESPN reporter John Keim.

In August of 2020, Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his neck. The head coach then proceeded to undergo three chemotherapy cycles and 35 proton therapy treatments over seven weeks during the 2020 season. Despite losing 30 pounds and being forced to take IVs during halftime of games, Rivera never missed a game and led Washington to an NFC East title in 2020.

The head coach was officially declared "cancer-free" in January of 2021, but Rivera continued to have checkups with doctors throughout the 2021 season. 

Rivera, who finished as a finalist to former Commanders QB Alex Smith in 2021, is the second member of Washington's organization in as many years to win the award. Rivera and Smith join Billy Kilmer (1976) and Pat Fischer (1978) as members of Washington's organization who have previously won the George Halas Award.

Other finalists for the 2022 award included Las Vegas Raiders pass rusher Maxx Crosby, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Eagles tackle Lane Johnson and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

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