Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team had their Week 16 game against the Carolina Panthers flexed to a 4:05 p.m. ET start.
The game pitting Rivera against the team that fired him one year ago features a Washington (6-8) team trying to sneak into the NFC playoffs by capturing the East division.
“This is about the organization winning and getting into the playoffs and not Ron Rivera getting revenge,” Rivera said. “That’s the last thing I want it to be.”
Rivera, who went 76-63-1 with the Panthers, admitted the feel around the game and anticipation would have been much different if it was a season opener.
“But it’s not,” Rivera said. “The consequences of this game is about this team, this organization, trying to be relevant and trying to take a step forward. I want to see us focus on the reasons why we want to win the game as opposed to a personal reason.”
The Panthers are 4-10 and might be without their All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey yet again. McCaffrey has played only three games this season due to ankle, shoulder and quad injuries.
Carolina’s roster was significantly reshaped since Matt Rhule took over as head coach in January.
Rivera and the Washington Football Team can clinch the NFC East with a victory and loss by the New York Giants.