Devon Still may be the most talked about player in the NFL not currently on a roster that’s not involved in a domestic violence issue.
Drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012, Still competed this off-season to make the 53-man roster. However, the talented defensive tackle had more pressing issues on his mind – namely, his four-year old daughter fighting cancer. Due to such a “distraction” (a vastly underwhelming terms for what he’s going through), Still unfortunately did not make the cut for the team. In any normal situation, that could have been the end of the story.
But the Bengals have been a team recently known for rallying behind their own in times of difficulty. In 2009, the Bengals were shocked when the wife of then-Defensive Coordinator (and now Minnesota Vikings head coach) Mike Zimmer, Vikki, died unexpectedly. The team pulled together to help their beloved coach through this difficult time and dedicated the game following her death to her (which they won). Zimmer has stated that the support of the team and being able to coach them was one of the things that helped him cope with the loss.
Well, the Bengals weren’t about to leave another one of their own stranded in their time of need. After being cut from the team, Still was informed that he was being offered a spot on the practice squad, which would not only give him an opportunity to eventually make the main roster, but also continue to provide insurance that would cover his daughter’s cancer treatment. Still was also offered a similar position with other teams, but he chose to remain with the Bengals in order to both stay closer to his family and the show loyalty to the team that could have just as easily kicked him to the curb.
The story gets even better. Today the Bengals announced that Still’s #75 jersey has sold more over the course of 24 hours than any other Bengals jersey in the same time period, ever. Ever. What’s especially wonderful is that the Bengals are donating 100% of all the proceeds of the jersey sales to cancer research. Which means that not only has the team stepped up to help one of their own, but the city of Cincinnati and Bengals fans around the country have, too.
Rounding things out, the Cincinnati Enquirer confirmed this morning that Still has been added to the Bengals’ 53-man roster.