After getting an IV treatment at halftime of last weekend's regular-season opener, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera plans to do the same for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals if he needs it.
"If I'm feeling it, I will tell our head trainer [Ryan Vermillion] that I need it," Rivera said Friday before his team left for Arizona.
Rivera, 58, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma located in a lymph node this past summer. The cancer is in the early stages and is considered "very treatable and curable," but Rivera still is learning how to deal with it.
For instance, Rivera now usually goes to bed at 9 p.m., about two hours earlier than he usually has during his decorated coaching career. He gets treatments that sometimes throw off the timing of his days.
This past Friday, he had a treatment in the morning that lasted an hour -- a good 40 minutes longer than it was supposed to -- and it had Rivera playing catch-up later in the day.
Last week, he could feel that he would need the IV at halftime. It was 80 degrees last Sunday for Washington's victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, and Rivera didn't feel right late in the second quarter, so he alerted the team that he would not be available at halftime.
Second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins delivered a speech to the team at halftime, and Washington rallied in the second half to beat Philadelphia 27-17.
It was Rivera's first game coaching Washington after nine years with the Carolina Panthers. He has had to deal with not only a pandemic and social justice issues but also the franchise's name change, accusations of sexual harassment in the organization from previous years and his own cancer diagnosis.
Rivera needs to have five treatments a week for seven weeks. The organization knew what he went through, which is why Rivera received a game ball after last Sunday's victory.
ESPN's John Keim contributed to this report.