Devon Still, the third-year defensive-tackle, was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals this week but while Still wanted to make the 53 man roster his biggest concern wasn’t about playing the game of football. Devon’s young daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with stage-4 of a very rare pediatric cancer on June 2nd.
“I wanted to make the roster but I have a lot of stuff going on right now that I can’t give football 100 percent. They could have just washed their hands completely of it. Said, ‘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, after all, what they pay us to do.”
Marvin Lewis made the call to Still, with the news that he was being cut. Lewis also let him know that the Bengals wanted to keep him on their practice squad. It was a perfect situation for Still who could stay on the team that drafted him while also not forcing him to have to move to another city possibly further away from his daughter, who is in Philadelphia getting treatment. Devon Still felt a gratitude for the organization, one that he tried to put into words.
“I’m dealing with a lot more issues with my daughter than just her having cancer. With [The Bengals] sticking by me through this whole time and understanding exactly what I’m going through, it’s a blessing that I was around this organization.”
The Bengals, by keeping him in the only NFL home Still’s ever had, keeps him on payroll and with insurance. Still hoped to have his daughter join him in Cincinnati last week but for undisclosed reasons has not been able to. Everyone is hoping for a happy ending to this story and much respect to the Cincinnati organization for doing right and standing by their player.