Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, who recovered from squamous cell carcinoma, won the 2022 George Halas Award given annually by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Rivera, the 54th Halas Award winner, is the fourth member of the Washington franchise to receive the honor from the PFWA and the second in a row. He follows Billy Kilmer (1976), Pat Fischer (1978) and Alex Smith (2021).
The Halas Award is given to an NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity. The award is named for Halas, a charter member (1963) of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and is one of the two oldest awards presented by the PFWA.
Rivera, a finalist for the Halas Award for the second time in as many years, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his neck in August 2020. He received 35 proton therapy treatments and three chemotherapy cycles over seven weeks during the 2020 season. Rivera lost more than 30 pounds and had to receive IV treatments at halftime of games, but he never missed a game.
Rivera announced in January 2021 he was cancer-free. In October 2021, the Washington Football Team wore a special helmet decal and made a $25,000 donation to the St. Jude Red Frog Events Proton Therapy Center in his honor after his one-year biopsy came back negative.