Alejandro Villanueva’s emergence from the Soldier Field tunnel during Sunday’s national anthem surprised many members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a source told ESPN.
Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served terms in Afghanistan, was the lone Steeler to appear despite an expectation from Saturday’s players-only meeting that the entire team would remain in the locker room, the source said.
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!’ Trump said at a rally in Alabama.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded by expressing disappointment over Trump’s unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, and most owners responded with similar statements over the weekend. On Sunday, dozens of players knelt in apparent response to Trump’s message.
Players for the Steelers stayed off the field during the anthem prior to their game Sunday, except for Army vet Alejandro Villanueva, who stood outside with a hand over his heart. The Seahawks and Titans also stayed in the tunnel during the anthem.
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Receiver Corey Davis is out Sunday against the Seahawks with a hamstring injury. This means an uptick in reps for Eric Decker and speedy rookie Taywan Taylor. The Titans are uncertain whether they’ll have running back DeMarco Murray for Sunday’s game. Murray is listed as questionable, and coach Mike Mularkey says Murray’s availability will depend on how his injured hamstring responds over the next couple of days. Derrick Henry is expected to get a significant workload Sunday, whether Murray plays or not, in what should be a physical, run-heavy matchup. Safety Johnathan Cyprien is also out for the second straight week because of a hamstring injury. — Cameron Wolfe