Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera, who had cancer and made a full recovery, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 George Halas Award by the Professional Football Writers of America.
The Halas Award is given to an NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes adversity to be successful. The award is named for Halas, a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who was associated with the Chicago Bears and the NFL from its inception in 1920 until his death in 1983 as an owner, manager, player, and promoter.
Rivera, who has battled squamous cell carcinoma, is the fourth member of the Washington franchise to receive PFWA honors and second in as many years, joining Billy Kilmer (1976), Pat Fischer (1978) and Alex Smith (2021). Huh. ,
The other 2022 nominees were Cincinnati Bengals tackle quarterback Joe Burrow, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Max Crosby, Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Rivera, a finalist for the Halas Award for the second time in as many years, was diagnosed with cancer in her neck in August 2020. In seven weeks during the 2020 season, he received 35 proton therapy treatments and three chemotherapy cycles. Rivera lost more than 30 pounds and had to receive IV treatment halfway through the game.
But he never missed a game while leading his team to the playoffs in his first year as head coach in Washington. Rivera made a full recovery, and announced in January 2021 that he was cancer-free.
The award dates back to 1969, when Joe Namath won it. Pro Football Hall of Famers such as Gail Sayers, Dick Butkus, Roger Staubach, Ted Hendrix, John Stallworth, Joe Montana, Dan Hampton, Dan Marino and Tony Dungy have been honored.