The Monday after a victory in the NFL is always great. This Monday, however, was an extra special one for Washington and head coach Ron Rivera.
After being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in late August and beginning cancer treatment as the regular season began, Rivera completed his final treatment on Monday.
The team and the Inova Schar Cancer Institute shared a video and photos of the head coach receiving a standing ovation from medical professionals in the building, many of which who were wearing "Rivera Strong" shirts, prior to Rivera ringing the bell to signify the end of his treatment.
Support from players in Washington as well as others within the NFL and sports community began pouring in for the head coach. Rivera has had the entire sports world in his corner throughout his battle, with many of his friends, family and colleagues having cardboard cutouts in the "Coach's Corner" at FedExField.
Rivera shared on Friday that he was feeling "very positive" heading into his final treatment. After meeting with the doctors, he was informed that his battle was heading in the "right direction," and he'd have a chance to begin working to return to his normal level of activity in just a few weeks.
The head coach's battle with cancer has created numerous challenging moments as he tried to lead an NFL team at the same time. Rivera had to miss practices and meetings for treatment while receiving IVs during games in order to remain strong enough to coach on the sidelines. He likened it to have a "300-pound gorilla on your back."
Yet through it all, he's kept and positive attitude and took every piece of adversity in stride, leading many to celebrate and share his "Rivera Strong" mentality. Quarterback Kyle Allen explained that seeing his head coach's toughness as he went through treatment and then showed up to the field has inspired him and others to carry the same work ethic.
Watching Washington pick up a win over the Cowboys was great for many, but watching Rivera ring the bell and receive applause as he finishes his late cancer treatment is something that can be celebrated by all.