Washington's Ron Rivera Got Planned IV at Half vs. Eagles Amid Cancer Treatment

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 14, 2020

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, walking on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, who revealed his squamous cell cancer diagnosis in August, received planned intravenous treatment at halftime of his team's season-opening 27-17 win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, per ESPN's John Keim.  

Rivera told reporters the IV treatment was planned for halftime to be safe. Since he was unable to deliver a halftime speech, second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. stepped up to the plate.

"I told one of our operations guys somebody's going to have to make sure somebody steps up to the podium," Rivera said, per Keim. "Dwayne stepped up and it was a pretty ruckus one from what I understand."

Washington Football Team rookie edge-rusher Chase Young, who had 1.5 sacks, gave the Haskins speech a seal of approval: "It definitely hyped us up in the locker room, for sure. I know the speech that he gave, I took it to heart. I know a lot of people in the locker room took it to heart, as well."

Rivera did not attend practice Tuesday for chemotherapy and proton treatment, per Keim.

The 58-year-old, who coached the Carolina Panthers for nine seasons before arriving in Washington, D.C., must receive five treatments per week for seven weeks.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The organization gave Rivera the game ball after the win.

On Aug. 20, the Washington Football Team revealed Rivera's diagnosis in a statement:

Rivera's cancer is located in a lymph node and was discovered after a self-care check. Per the statement, the cancer is in a "very early stage" and considered "very treatable and curable."

The ex-Panthers coach has been able to continue his duties as coach, but there is a "Plan B" in place if he is unable to do so in the future.

That plan has not yet been revealed, but as ESPN noted, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is the only person with head-coaching experience on his staff, having led the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-11 and the Oakland Raiders from 2015-17.

For now, Washington can enjoy an excellent victory over the defending NFC East champion Eagles. The Football Team picked off quarterback Carson Wentz twice and unleashed eight sacks in a largely dominant defensive effort. Washington erased a 17-0 deficit en route to the win.