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Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera, who had cancer and got a full recovery, has been selected as the 2022 George Halas Award recipient by Professional Football Writers of America.
The Halas Award is given to an NFL player, coach, or employee who overcomes adversity for success. The award is named after Halas, a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who was associated with the Chicago Bears and NFL from their inception in 1920 until his death in 1983 as owner, manager, player and promoter.
Rivera, who has battled squamous cell carcinoma, is the fourth member of the Washington franchise to receive the honor of PFWA and the second in as many years, along with Billy Kilmer (1976), Pat Fischer (1978) and Alex Smith (2021). ).
Other nominees for 2022 were Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Rivera, a Halas finalist for the second time in as many years, was diagnosed with neck cancer in August 2020. Over the course of seven weeks in the 2020 season, he received 35 proton therapy treatments and three chemotherapy cycles. Rivera lost more than 30 pounds and had to receive IV treatments at the break of matches.
But he never missed a game while leading his team to the playoffs in his first year as head coach in Washington. Rivera got a full recovery and he announced in January 2021 that he was cancer free.
The award dates from 1969, when Joe Namath won it. Such Pro Football Hall of Famers as Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, Roger Staubach, Ted Hendricks, John Stallworth, Joe Montana, Dan Hampton, Dan Marino and Tony Dungy have been honored.