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'Those were brutal hits' | Ron Rivera sends tape of Cardinals game hits to NFL officials

During Sunday's game, quarterback Sam Howell took a couple of hits to the head, one of which was flagged for a 15-yard penalty.

WASHINGTON — The Washington Commanders are 1-0, which is great news. The not-so-great news is their work has just begun. 

During Sunday's game, quarterback Sam Howell turned the ball over two times, once on a fumble deep in their own territory that the Arizona Cardinals turned into a touchdown. 

After watching the film, Head Coach Ron Rivera knows there is plenty of room for improvement. 

"He played a lot better. You know, you go back and you look at certain things and you're not as good as you think, not as bad. But there were a couple things that he most certainly has got to clean up," Rivera said. "His decision-making, I think he's got to understand that sometimes 'I can hang a little longer,' and other times 'I got to get rid of it now.'"

Howell also took a couple of hits to the head, one of which was flagged for a 15-yard penalty. Rivera confirmed to WUSA9's Chick Hernandez that he had sent a tape to league officials, saying they need to know what is going on.

"I mean, those are brutal hits," Rivera explained. "They were and it's one of those things where, you know, again, we have to understand we're protecting the quarterback and we have to be smart. We're also protecting other players when guys get shots to the helmet. You know, we've got to look at that to make sure these things get squared away."

Sunday's game was a sellout and among the people in the stadiums, stars from the past like Sonny Jurgensen, Champ Bailey and John Riggins. Their attendance did not go unnoticed by Rivera. 

“I did you know, it's because you know, again, I've told people before I grew up a [Commanders] fan, to know that Riggo was there," he said. "That's first time I learned Sonny was there. To, you know, see in Sonny or knowing Sonny was there, that's really cool."

WUSA9 will sit down with Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera every Monday throughout the 2023-2024 season. The one-on-one moments will premiere on WUSA9 at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. and again on Get Up DC every Tuesday morning. The full interview between Rivera and Chick Hernandez will be available on WUSA9+. 


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