An NFL official told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that no fines are being considered for those players who stayed in the locker room during the anthem.
As the anthem began at Soldier Field, several Steelers coaches were on the sideline, including head coach Mike Tomlin, while the players were not present. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley, offensive line coach Mike Munchak and running backs coach James Saxon also were spotted.
Players took the field within a few seconds of the anthem's end, just after fireworks launched; quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was one of the first players out of the tunnel. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, an Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, was seen on the CBS broadcast at the edge of the tunnel during the anthem, with his hand over his heart.
Roethlisberger made it a point of emphasis after the Steelers' 23-17 overtime loss to the Bears to say that the team's decision was a unified one and that he has the "utmost respect" for "our troops and those that serve this country."
Defensive end Cam Heyward was asked after Sunday's game what went into Villanueva being outside of the tunnel while everyone else inside.
"I don't want to go into that, but we support our guy Al," Heyward said. "He feels he had to do it. This guy served our country, and we thank him for it."
In Nashville, the Seahawks and Titans both issued statements saying their players were united in their actions.
"As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem," the Seahawks' statement said. "We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all."
Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a pregame radio interview that coach Pete Carroll met with a few players individually Saturday prior to a "pretty emotional" meeting by the entire team later that night. The Seahawks walked onto the field after the anthem with players locking arms.
Dozens of more players protested before the Raiders-Redskins game, the final one of the day and not far from the White House in Landover, Maryland. All but a handful of Raiders sat on their bench, and seven Redskins took a knee while their teammates stood arm-in-arm along with owner Dan Snyder and president Bruce Allen.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said the team wanted to stay in the locker room during the anthem, but because of the timing of prime-time games, they could not because they would have missed the coin toss and would have been penalized.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said the decision to stay in the locker room came after "a long process, a lot of discussions happened, and we took everyone's input."
"As a team, we wanted to do our best to not ostracize our guys, any of our individuals, allow them to feel welcomed and not make them uncomfortable," Sherman said. "That's the worst thing you can do as a teammate is put your teammate in an uncomfortable position. We don't go out, the whole team doesn't come out, then it's easier for him to defend himself and say it's a team decision. 'I just did what the team did.' You're a good teammate, perfect. Fine.
"But if you get out there and you ask a guy to kneel or sit going against his values, going against his family, you know you put him in weird spots," Sherman added. "We never want to do that. We think that we did a good job getting our message out and trying not to distract from it."
The Titans took a similar approach with their statement.
"As a team, we wanted to be unified in our actions today. The players jointly decided this was the best course of action. Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute, and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn't be misconstrued as unpatriotic."
The Steelers coach told CBS' Jamie Erdahl before the game that the team wanted to "remove ourselves from the circumstance" and meant no disrespect.
"We're not going to play politics," Tomlin said. "We're football players, we're football coaches. We're not participating in the anthem today -- not to be disrespectful to the anthem but to remove ourselves from the circumstance.
"People shouldn't have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn't be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn't be separated from his teammate who chooses not to."
The Steelers did not protest the anthem last year and had stayed relatively neutral on the national discussion, but President Donald Trump's verbal attack on NFL players who protest appears to have changed things.
Team president Art Rooney II released a statement regarding the pregame protest.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 24, 2017
Several Steelers leaders, including defensive end Cameron Heyward, linebacker James Harrison and others, were involved in the discussion about Sunday's protest, one team source said. Those discussions took hold Saturday as the team traveled to Chicago and got situated at the team hotel.
"We will not be divided by this," Tomlin said after the game. "We've got a group of men in there that come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, races, creeds, ethnicities, religions and so forth. That's football. That's a lot of team sports. But because of our position, we get drug into bulls---, to be quite honest with you. Some have opinions; some don't. We wanted to protect those who don't, and we wanted to protect those who do."
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said the team wanted to stay in the locker room for the anthem before Sunday night's game against the Redskins, but because of the timing of prime-time games, it would have missed the coin toss and been penalized. Most of the Raiders remained seated or took a knee during the anthem, including the entire offensive line, which is the lone all-black starting unit in the NFL, and the defensive line. Others stood with interlocked arms, as did Del Rio, and quarterback Derek Carr appeared to pray while looking skyward and standing.
ESPN's Brady Henderson and Cameron Wolfe contributed to this report.