The Washington Football Team confirmed to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on Thursday that Rivera had been diagnosed with squamous cell cancer.
“Honestly I’m a little bit angry,” Rivera said. “I’m not quite sure how this happened. This is the healthiest I’ve felt in a long, long time. Honestly. I’ve lost some weight. I’ve been working out and doing things the right way.
The coach first discovered something might be wrong when he was shaving, he said, before consulting with Washington team doctors. After feeling as if he’d strained a neck muscle, the pain didn’t subside a week later, prompting further examination.
“But physically I felt good. I thought practice have been going well. I had good energy with the players. We’ve been practicing at an up tempo. I’ve been doing the things that I normally do. So, I was really disappointed and surprised, concerned, scared at times. But truthfully, I feel good. I’m looking forward to getting into the therapies and following the protocol and getting this taking care of.”