Last Sunday, in response to President Trump's remarks that he'd love to see NFL owners fire players who take a knee during the national anthem, the Steelers decided to skip the anthem altogether, and instead remained in the locker room before their game against the Bears.
Except that left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, was separated from his teammates and ended up on the field alone during the anthem, which became one of the biggest stories in a day full of them. Villanueva later explained the hows and whys of what happened, telling reporters, "Unfortunately, I threw (my teammates) under the bus, unintentionally. I made Coach Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault."
On Sunday in Baltimore, there will be no confusion. The Steelers will stand during the anthem.
"I promise you one thing, this week we will all be standing out there for the national anthem. Trust me," center Maurkice Pouncey said Wednesday, via CBS Pittsburgh. "As far as I know it's 100 percent participation.
"We love this country. It's America. We know there are injustice in this world, but to me, personally, football is football and that's what we need to approach it as."
Wide receiver Martavis Bryant confirmed as much, telling ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, "We're united as a group, so we're all going to stand together," though he added one wrinkle: As far as Bryant knows, the team plans to "go out there and lock arms."
Two other players told Fowler they weren't sure about the "locking arms" part, while two others said that it was a possibility. What is certain is that Steelers fans are angry and let the organization know about it.
"We just have to stay positive and do what we can to change the conversation back to being positive about being united around our football team," team president Art Rooney II said week. "I think our players understand our fans don't want to go to a game and watch a protest. And I think our players prefer to just go out on the field and play football."
Coach Mike Tomlin spoke emphatically to this point on Tuesday:
"I expect our team will be on the field like they were prior to last Sunday," Rooney told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week. "Last Sunday was the first time, you know, we ever had any kind of incident with regards to the anthem. It's over, as far as I'm concerned."