CHICAGO — 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. The starting left tackle was a key figure in the team’s protest planning because of his background. Players wanted to accommodate Villanueva, who expressed during their 30-minute session that he didn’t want to be singled out, the source said. Moving the protest off the field entirely was a way to keep solidarity without isolating an individual. “That’s where the confusion came in,” the source of the anthem sequence said. Players discussed several potential methods of protest at that meeting, including holding hands on the sideline or…

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