Sports

Welcome to The Times' weekly NFL round up. If the opening game of Week 3 is any indication, it is likely to be a full day of protests by players following President Trump's controversial comments.

The protests, which had largely died down in the NFL, come in the wake of Trump’s comments at a political rally Friday, when he challenged NFL owners to fire any player who didn’t stand for the anthem.

Here's what you need to know:

As his teammates stayed in locker room, former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva stood outside for anthem

Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, stands outside the tunnel during the national anthem before a Sept. 24 game against the Bears in Chicago. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)
Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, stands outside the tunnel during the national anthem before a Sept. 24 game against the Bears in Chicago. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

With most of his players staying in the locker room as part of the protest sweeping the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stood alone on the field as the national anthem played before the team's game Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

But he wasn't actually alone, offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan before getting his taste of the NFL, stood outside the tunnel for the anthem.

Villanueva, who played college football at Army, failed to crack the Eagles' regular-season roster in 2014, but eventually caught on with the Steelers in 2015, making 10 starts at left tackle and appearing in all 16 games.

He started all 16 games for the Steelers last season.

Read Villanueva's explanation for how he ended up on the field>>

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