Washington head coach Ron Rivera was named the winner of the 2022 George Halas Award by the Professional Football Writers of America on Monday.
The award is given to an NFL player, coach or staff member who has succeeded following adversity. Rivera battled squamous cell carcinoma during the 2020 season, then led the Commanders to the playoffs that season.
Rivera is the 54th winner of the Halas Award and the second in as many years from the Washington franchise. Former quarterback Alex Smith won in 2021 following his return to football after a devastating leg injury put his career in jeopardy.
Other 2022 nominees for the Halas Award were Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Rivera also was a finalist in 2021.
He was diagnosed with the cancer in his neck in August 2020 in the midst of his first training camp as Washington’s coach. He underwent treatment over seven weeks of the season, including IV treatments during halftime of games, but never missed a game on the sidelines. He was declared cancer-free in January 2021.
Washington finished the 2021 season with a 7-10 mark.
Rivera, 60, has a 90-82-1 record in 11 seasons coaching the Carolina Panthers (2011-19) and Washington. He led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season, where they lost to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
The award is named for Halas, who won 324 games and six NFL titles in 40 seasons as coach of the Chicago Bears.
–Field Level Media