Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera was fined $100,000 and the NFL stripped the team of two offseason practices in 2023 for excessive contact in practice drills, according to multiple reports.
The Commanders became the latest team to be disciplined by the league for allowing too much contact in practice. The NFL does not permit teams to hold live contact drills in the spring. The Commanders join the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears among the teams to be docked at least one practice session because of it.
Because Washington’s voluntary offseason workouts are now over, the punishment will be assessed next year.
In six workouts made available to reporters, there were at least two instances of heavy hits during practice. Safety Darrick Forrest rocked wideout Kelvin Harmon one week and in another instance, safety Jeremy Reaves collided with wideout Dyami Brown. The latter incident, which left Brown injured and caused him to miss the rest of the session, led Rivera to interrupt practice and chew out his players in an expletive-filled rant in which he urged them to play with discipline.
Despite the speech, the league still came down hard on Rivera and the Commanders.
The $100,000 fine, coincidentally, is the same amount that Rivera issued to defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio for referring to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Twitter as a “dust-up.”
ESPN first reported the new punishment.