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Devon Still has bigger concerns than being on the practice squad


On the surface, the Bengals cutting defensive tackle Devon Still and putting him on the practice squad might appear to be a case of a team trying to salvage an underperforming draft pick.

But there’s far more to Still’s story, and the Bengals’ willingness to stand by him.

According to Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Still’s 4-year-old daughter Leah is battling cancer, and Still admitted he can’t give a game his undivided attention.

“I completely understand where they were coming from,” Still said. “I can’t give football 100 percent right now. In the business aspect they want guys to solely focus on football, which is understandable. We are here to win this city a Super Bowl and right now I am not in a position where I can give football 100 percent of everything I have.”

In a sense, the practice squad is the perfect opportunity for the team to help Still, since he’ll continue to make more than $100,000 if he stays there all year, and he’ll maintain his health insurance at a critical time. But he won’t travel on road trips, so he’ll have the opportunity to spend more time in Philadelphia with his daughter as she begins a fourth round of chemotherapy.

Their loyalty in a profession not known for it is not lost on Still.

“They could have just washed their hands completely of it,” he said. “Say we don’t care what’s going on in his personal life, we just want people who can care 100 percent on football, that’s what they pay us to do. But they thought about my personal issues and allowed me to come back on the practice squad so I still have insurance. They said if I keep working on my physical with my injury and mentally prepared myself to focus on football, then they can move me back up to the roster, so I am not all the way out of the loop. . . .

“The Bengals were loyal to me. I’m not about to up and leave them. Loyalty is something I really need right now because I never know what direction this is going to go with my daughter.”

The Bengals deserve credit for allowing Still the opportunity to deal with a personal crisis, and he hopes to repay them down the line, by playing the kind of football they imagined when they chose him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

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43 Responses to “Devon Still has bigger concerns than being on the practice squad”
  1. pooflingingmonkey says: Sep 2, 2014 11:46 AM

    I can’t imagine having a child with cancer. Good luck to the Still family.

  2. mkbane says: Sep 2, 2014 11:47 AM

    Very classy move by the Bengals. Best wishes for your daughter’s health, Devon.

  3. riflemanlax says: Sep 2, 2014 11:48 AM

    Nice to see a level headed, loyal guy in the NFL. Stinks to see him that situation. Best wishes for his daughter…

  4. sonofsamadams says: Sep 2, 2014 11:49 AM

    The Bengals have never been known to make financial considerations for their players, but this is a fantastic move by the organization.

  5. 2manyconcussions says: Sep 2, 2014 11:49 AM

    Good to see the Bengals helping out this young man. I hope this works out to the benefit of both Still and the team.

  6. sbchampsagain says: Sep 2, 2014 11:50 AM

    Kudos to the Bengals.
    Good luck to Still and his daughter.
    Hope she recovers fully and he makes a go of his football dream.

  7. weepingjebus says: Sep 2, 2014 11:53 AM

    I hope his daughter makes a full recovery and he can go back to worrying about relatively silly stuff like sports.

  8. calhounlambeau says: Sep 2, 2014 11:55 AM

    Just goes to show we know very little about what’s going on. We just get a headline. I hope everything works out. Good for the Bengals.

  9. fishfan39 says: Sep 2, 2014 11:56 AM

    Way to go Bengals! There’s more to life than football. Hoping that Leah has a swift and complete recovery.

  10. bharr170 says: Sep 2, 2014 11:57 AM

    Say whatever you want about Mike Brown being cheap, but the dude is unquestionably loyal to those within his organization. Very classy.

  11. jdfrox says: Sep 2, 2014 11:59 AM

    Wow. Nice move by the Bengals. Prayers to Stills and his family.

  12. sellout1983 says: Sep 2, 2014 12:01 PM

    Heart goes out to this young man and his daughter.

  13. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 2, 2014 12:03 PM

    Well done Bengals. May Leah have the strength of 1,000 football players during this battle.

  14. slagneb1 says: Sep 2, 2014 12:07 PM

    Praying for Devon and his daughter. Has his priorities in the right order.

  15. ravenswhat says: Sep 2, 2014 12:10 PM

    Pretty classy there bengals. I’m rooting for him both on and off the field.

  16. gomybirdsgo says: Sep 2, 2014 12:13 PM

    Pretty classy move by the bengals who arnt know for classy moves. Wish the kid could play end in the 3-4 so my birds could scoop him up and bring him home to be on our PS. Still can be a very good player in the nfl

  17. djshnooks says: Sep 2, 2014 12:13 PM

    I’m rooting for this team hard this year…I’m rooting for the kid and player even more.

  18. denverdude7 says: Sep 2, 2014 12:25 PM

    Classy move Cincy. Very classy move.

  19. shayeezy says: Sep 2, 2014 12:25 PM

    sending lots of positive thoughts to this guy and his family.

  20. luxm40 says: Sep 2, 2014 12:26 PM

    Please keep us posted on Still and his daughters story as much as you can PFT! Prayers go out to him and his daughter …

  21. denverwally says: Sep 2, 2014 12:32 PM

    this is very unlike the Brown family. For once thankfully they are doing a good thing.

  22. boomnutz says: Sep 2, 2014 12:43 PM

    Classy move. Classy guy. I hope it all works for both the organization, the player and most importantly his daughter

  23. runtheball says: Sep 2, 2014 12:47 PM

    Hats off to the Bungles and the Brown Family. Hopefully Leah is as string as her Dad.

  24. kgb108 says: Sep 2, 2014 12:53 PM

    Totally not a Bengals fan but a very classy move on their part. I’m rooting for this guy 14 weeks a year and wishing him and his family the best.

  25. cohawkfan says: Sep 2, 2014 1:04 PM

    Classy classy move Cincy. Praying for the Still family.

  26. vex24 says: Sep 2, 2014 1:07 PM

    So proud of this young man and his big step into the shoes of fatherhood. I’m a Bengals fan, but I’m a fan of any organization that would make such a humanistic financial gesture such as this one. Props to Mike Brown and the whole Bengals organization.

  27. samoanjungle says: Sep 2, 2014 1:10 PM

    I’m praying for your little Girl Devon. May she get well soon.

  28. briang123 says: Sep 2, 2014 1:11 PM

    As a cancer survivor who has been through chemotherapy, and with 3 daughters, ages 3, 8, and 10, I know that I would rather it me be than my girls, and Still has to be a wreck. I hope to read a story in the next year about her recovery and him playing like an All-Pro.

  29. thesteelhurtin says: Sep 2, 2014 1:11 PM

    Best wishes to him and his daughter. CANCER SUCKS!

  30. JackedUpSports says: Sep 2, 2014 1:13 PM

    Stay strong Still. We are…Penn State!

  31. seatownballers says: Sep 2, 2014 1:13 PM

    I wish your daughter the best

  32. yesrowntreeyesgrosvener says: Sep 2, 2014 1:14 PM

    Win win scenario. I can’t imagine the daily torment that Still is facing. Best wishes to him.

  33. iejdaniel says: Sep 2, 2014 1:31 PM

    Stellar action by the Bengals. I hope everything works out well.

  34. xinellum says: Sep 2, 2014 1:39 PM

    As a Ravens fan it doesn’t take a lot to know Mike Brown is a class guy. The Ravens are proud to be in the division with and a rival of the Bengals. Unadulterated respect for the team. I might even have to stop calling them the Bungles…..nah.

  35. stevincinci says: Sep 2, 2014 1:46 PM

    Say what you will about the Bengals organization, but they are family oriented and care deeply about their personnel. Ask Mike Zimmer’s family about that when his wife passed a couple of years back, and Chris Henry’s family when he passed. They still take care of his children.

  36. mrtullymars says: Sep 2, 2014 2:14 PM

    Wow. Nice gesture, Bengals. Things like this are almost completely unheard of today. All the best to Mr. Still and his daughter.

  37. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Sep 2, 2014 2:30 PM

    Kudos for this story. Thoughts and Prayers to Still and his daughter.

  38. 12thman84 says: Sep 2, 2014 2:31 PM

    Prayers from the Northwest. Very Classy move by Brown, and the Bengals.

  39. sparky151 says: Sep 2, 2014 2:32 PM

    Bengals have a history of taking care of players even when they can’t play. Dennis Weathersby was injured in a car accident shortly after being drafted but was still signed and paid by the team. David Pollack was paid for several years under his rookie deal even though he retired to avoid further injury.

    Still said he had an offer from a team on the West Coast to be on their 53 man roster but turned it down for the Bengals practice squad. Marvin Lewis said that Still and Trevor Robinson would “undoubtedly”be on the 53 man roster at some point this season.

  40. hauts81 says: Sep 2, 2014 2:47 PM

    I hope Still’s daughter kicks that cancer’s ass and he becomes a quality player for the Bengals. His family deserves it and the team deserves it.

  41. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Sep 2, 2014 2:58 PM

    It’s nice to see (almost) everyone rally behind a story like Devon’s and Leah’s. Some things are bigger than sports rivalries.

    Thoughts and prayers, Still family. We are all cheering for you.

  42. blkandgld4eva says: Sep 2, 2014 5:11 PM

    I don’t care what team you root for – who the hell would vote thumbs down on any of these sincere comments? It’s just a game, people.


  43. shoe23 says: Sep 2, 2014 7:20 PM

    Best wishes to his daughter. Can not imagine what he is going through as he watches his daughter fight this terrible disease. Outstanding by the Bengals.

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