Devon Still was cut from the Cincinnati Bengals roster when he had to step away from his NFL career. The reason was his daughter–only four years old–who is undergoing cancer treatment.
“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,” Still told ESPN’s SportsCenter.
However, instead of proverbially cutting their losses and leaving Still in the lurch with costly medical expenses, the Bengals re-signed him to their practice squad. This will allow his daughter coverage through the team’s health insurance, and a salary for Still per week for being on the squad.
The Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told Still that as long as another team didn’t sign him after his cut, he could re-sign with the practice squad and secure the necessary health coverage for his daughter.
By re-signing with the Bengals, Still can continue to play with the team he has worked with and credits as being a support system through his recent struggles. Another perk— he doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of moving across the country for another team, far from his ill daughter.
Both the practical nature of the support—his daughter’s medical expenses, estimated to reach $1 million, will be fully covered—and the emotional support from his teammates are invaluable to Still during this difficult time in his personal life.
His daughter, Leah, has been undergoing rounds of chemotherapy and may have to have surgery to remove a tumor from her abdomen. Fox Sports reports that she is in stage-four of pediatric cancer.