The Washington Football Team is scheduled to take on their hated rivals in the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday, but they have already scored a major victory this week. On Friday, Washington head coach Ron Rivera informed reporters that his last day of cancer treatment is scheduled for Monday Oct. 26. He will have to undergo further scans, but said that "what I've been told is it's headed in the right direction," according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post.
Earlier this offseason, Rivera was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) located in a lymph node, and it was detected in a self-care check. Rivera told his team after the cancer was discovered that it was "very treatable and curable" and in its early stages. He had been undergoing treatment with the team and an outside specialist. Incredibly, Rivera has been on the sideline for every game so far this season, and did not back down when things became tough. There were several times this season where Rivera was spotted sitting on the bench alone or walking off the field leaning on a staff member. According to ESPN's John Keim, Rivera said dealing with cancer can be overwhelming, but that he's "boosted" by the support he has received.
In Week 4 before Washington's matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, around 400 cardboard cutouts were purchased and placed in the Coach's Corner section of FedEx Field to support Rivera. The cutouts and other donations raised around $30,000 in Rivera's name, which was donated to the American Cancer Society. Players and coaches also wore shirts that read "Rivera Strong" in pregame.
While Washington is 1-5 this season, they have a chance to jump into first place in the NFC East with a win over the Cowboys on Sunday. The division appears to be a mess, which gives this rebuilding team a chance to make a run at a spot in the postseason.