The Cincinnati Bengals appeared to have moved on from former second-round defensive tackle Devon Still when they cut him this preseason. Still, 25, certainly has looked like a bust to this point in his career, and his preseason play was not an indication he had come around.
However, Still has had much bigger and better things on his mind than football. His 4-year-old daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with stage 4 pediatric cancer back in June.
So when training camp came around, Still lost some desire to play. The Bengals had no choice but to cut him.
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“I completely understand where the Bengals were coming from when they cut me because I couldn’t give football 100 percent right now,” Still told ABC News.
But there's a silver lining to this story. The Bengals re-signed him to their practice squad, and the $6,300 weekly salary and medical insurance will go a long way to help Leah. Still is eminently grateful for the team's gesture when he knows they simply could have made what NFL teams like to call "business decisions."
“They could have washed their hands with me and said they didn’t care about what I was going through off the field,” Still said. “It’s like a blessing in disguise for me.”
As a member of the practice squad, Still will practice with the team but not travel. That means he has more time to spend by Leah's side. Blessing in disguise indeed.
“We’re going to go to battle with cancer,” Still said. “She’s willing to put up a fight to beat it.”
Still told the world about Leah on Instagram this summer. Her picture is all over his page.
Let's hope she gets the help and care she needs. She'll have her father there with her to do everything he can to help. And the Bengals are a big reason why he'll have the support to do so.
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