Ron Rivera Reportedly Disciplined Commanders’ Players for Drinking on Team Plane

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Washington Commanders disciplined multiple players for violating a league rule in drinking on a team plane. Head coach Ron Rivera reportedly informed the NFL of his disciplinary plans Tuesday after quarterback Taylor Heinicke among others were shown on video drinking alcohol on the plane following the Commanders’ 32-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on “Monday Night Football,” per ESPN. Heinicke had a Busch Light beer in his hand. The Commanders did not provide the alcohol. Rivera addressed the matter in a team meeting, though it’s uncertain what disciplinary action he took.

“The league reviewed the matter this week and we are satisfied with the discipline administered by the club,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “There will be no further action taken by the league.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams Friday reminding them of the rule. He emphasized that any violations will result in “significant discipline.” Goodell’s memo came as Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing was arrested for DUI early Friday in Nashville. Police arrested Downing shortly after the Titans returned from Green Bay.

Roger Goodell Sends Memo to Commanders, Other 31 NFL Teams

Goodell’s memo stated the following:

“In light of recent events, clubs are reminded that League policy prohibits alcoholic beverages, including beer, in the locker rooms, practice or office facilities, or while traveling on team buses or planes at any time during the preseason, regular season, or postseason. This applies to all players, coaches, club personnel, and guests traveling with your team.”

The policy has been in place for years, the NFL indicated to its teams. The league said providing alcohol at club facilities or while traveling creates “unnecessary risks.”

“Making alcohol available at club facilities or while traveling creates significant and unnecessary risks to the League, its players, coaches and others,” the statement said. “Violations of this important policy will be taken seriously and will result in significant discipline.

“Each club should ensure that its travel arrangements do not include providing alcohol service at any time and should also take appropriate steps to confirm that alcohol [whether beer or any other alcoholic beverage] is not available at its facility.”