NFL

Washington confirms head coach Ron Rivera diagnosed with form of skin cancer

A teams spokesman confirmed Thursday night that Rivera has squamous cell carcinoma. ESPN first reported Rivera's diagnosis, saying it was lymph node cancer and later clarified it was squamous cell carcinoma in his neck.

58-year-old, who was hired in January, has squamous cell carcinoma in neck

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, seen above during during Super Bowl week in January. On Thursday, a team spokesman confirmed Rivera has been diagnosed with a form of skin cancer. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Washington Football coach Ron Rivera has been diagnosed with a form of skin cancer, according to a team spokesman.

The spokesman confirmed Thursday night that Rivera has squamous cell carcinoma. ESPN first reported Rivera's diagnosis, saying it was lymph node cancer and later clarified it was squamous cell carcinoma in his neck.

ESPN reported Rivera got the diagnosis two weeks ago and told his team Thursday.

Rivera is expected to continue coaching while undergoing treatment. He was hired as Washington's coach and put in charge of football operations in January. The 58-year-old of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent is the first minority coach in franchise history.

"I'm planning to go on coaching," Rivera told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "Doctors encouraged me to do it, too. They said, 'If you feel strongly, do it. Don't slow down, do your physical activities.' But everyone keeps telling me by week three or four, you'll start feeling it.

"I'm going through the proper treatment. This will be fine."

Rivera is 76-63-1 as a head coach, all with the Carolina Panthers from 2011-19. He is 3-4 in the postseason.

While Rivera plans to continue in his job, he did say there's a Plan B in place should the need arise, but he didn't specify what that would be.

Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is the only other coach on Washington's staff with head-coaching experience, with the Jacksonville Jaguars and then-Oakland Raiders. He was 93-94 as a head coach, 1-3 in the playoffs.

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