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Marvin Lewis keeps practice squad door open for Devon Still

Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still has practice squad eligibility and it's a likely destination for the third-year player... if...

Rob Carr

NOTE: Portions of this post appeared on a previous posting announcing his release.

The Cincinnati Bengals placed defensive tackle Devon Still on waivers on Saturday. Still, a former second-round pick from the 2012 NFL draft, has spent most of his career in Cincinnati dealing with a collection of injuries or has become the unfortunate victim of depth at his position. During midseason in 2013, he missed four games with a dislocated elbow and was placed on Injured Reserve on Dec. 18 with a herniated disc. With 18 games under his belt, Still posted 21 tackles, a forced fumble, a shared sack and three passes defensed.

In the end, it's just football. We're talking about a recreation sport played by professional athletes, ruled by billionaire owners and celebrated by fans on otherwise boring Sunday afternoons. Expecting anything out of him would have been asking a bit much from him.

Several months ago, he nearly retired from football when he discovered that his four-year old daughter Leah, has stage four cancer called neuroblastoma.

"When I found out, I told my family I was done. Done. I didn't feel comfortable leaving my daughter while she's going through this," said Still. "She's fighting for her life. Sports is not more important than me being there while my daughter is fighting for her life."

Despite his release, he may stick with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Though the income would be dramatically smaller, Still would stay close in Cincinnati without uprooting his family to an unfamiliar city. Additionally, being on the practice squad means he doesn't travel with the team during away games and stays fully insured for his daughter's treatment. And if his situation recovers and his head turns toward a renewed focus in football, Cincinnati can quietly promote him to the 53-man roster.