Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera back at practice after brother’s funeral

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, right, calls the team together during practice on Monday.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, right, calls the team together during practice on Monday. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera thanked the organization and fans for their support during the two days he was gone to attend his brother’s funeral in Nevada. Mickey Rivera died last week after a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Rivera said he kept up with the team during the two days he was gone in part by following reporters’ Twitter posts.

“I followed you guys. So I heard everything from when Ted Ginn went crashing through the gate to the unfortunate news on (injured receiver) Stephen (Hill),” said Rivera, whose Twitter handle is @RiverboatRonHC. “Then (Sunday) I disagree with you guys, I don’t think Michael Oher got ran by.”

Rivera also watched practice video on his iPad and stayed in close contact with general manager Dave Gettleman, assistant GM Brandon Beane and assistant head coach Steve Wilks, who ran practices in Rivera’s absence.

Said Rivera: “It wasn’t as if I was completely gone.”

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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