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NFL fines Ron Rivera $100K, strips Commanders of 2 future OTAs practices

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera roams practice during minicamp. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The NFL fined Commanders head coach Ron Rivera $100,000 and docked the team two OTA practices in 2023 for excessive hitting during their offseason program this year, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The collective-bargaining agreement between the league and players prohibits live contact throughout the offseason program. The first violation can result in a $100,000 fine for the head coach and the loss of future offseason workouts. Subsequent violations can result in increased fines and even the loss of a draft pick.

ESPN first reported the Commanders’ penalties.

It was unclear which specific practice triggered the punishment. During the team’s final week of OTAs, safety Jeremy Reaves leveled receiver Dyami Brown during team drills. Brown was sidelined and Rivera told reporters after practice that the receiver suffered “a little sore shoulder and that’s about it.” But immediately after the hit, Rivera stopped practice and became enraged.

“We can’t do things like that. So that was just a little bit of lesson,” he told reporters that day. “It was a good opportunity to make sure the players understand.”

The Commanders ended its offseason program Thursday, and players will report for the start of training camp July 26.