Twistity NFL Exclusive: Still Fighting

Devon Still Continues The Fight For Leah Devon Still is more famous as a father than as a football player, and that’s a good thing. One job lasts a...

Devon Still Continues The Fight For Leah

Devon Still is more famous as a father than as a football player, and that’s a good thing.

One job lasts a lifetime, the other a few short years.

Still, a defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, spent much of last year and this offseason tending to his cancer-stricken daughter Leah, now 5. He showed tremendous tenderness and grace through her struggles and the Bengals were supportive as well.

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Leah is free of the neuroblastoma that afflicted her, but Devon’s career may be on the line. NFL teams will reduce their rosters to 53 players after Thursday night’s final preseason games, and he must show them he belongs. He was cut a year ago, then brought back to the practice squad and later added to the active roster.

A second-round pick in 2012 from Penn State, he has endured a spate of injuries and played in only 30 games. He missed most of the Bengals’ offseason work as his daughter underwent treatment. His last preseason outing, however, was a strong one and he remains hopeful.

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“I feel like I’ve put good enough tape out there that I have a good chance of making this ball club. If not, then I’ll have an opportunity to play somewhere else,” he said this week. “But right now my objective is to go out there and just show that I’m a consistent player, that I can make any team better and I can help them win.”

Oddly, we know more about him as a parent than a player. The Bengals play the Indianapolis Colts in the preseason finale and most of the starters will sit, so those in the battle for backup roles – such as Still – will get their last chance to impress.

You can’t help but wish him well.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman .

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