The Pittsburgh Steelers seem to be bracing for more players to opt out of the Antwon Rose helmet tribute ... and the team is okay with that.
After lineman Alejandro Villanueva decided to honor a deceased Black military hero instead of the 17-year-old ... other players began speaking out about the Rose tribute.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey said he didn't know enough about Antwon Rose before the team decided on the helmet tribute -- claiming he was given "limited information" about the situation.
Also, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said the decision to honor Rose was made by "people upstairs" in the organization ... not the players.
The controversy ... the Steelers initially pushed the narrative that Rose was shot and killed by police during traffic stop for seemingly no reason.
What was missing from the story on the Steelers' team website was the fact Antwon was allegedly involved in a drive-by shooting before the police incident ... with the victim of the drive-by claiming Rose was the triggerman.
Obviously, that part of the story rubbed some Steelers players the wrong way -- since some of them only learned about that AFTER wearing the helmet decal on "Monday Night Football."
We reached out to the Steelers organization to find out if the team would continue its original plan to wear Rose's name on helmets and hats for the entire 2020 NFL season. Here's what they said back to us ...
"We acknowledge there could be changes this Sunday for players relating to helmet decals. That will be an individual decision."
In other words, it sounds like some of the players will no longer wear the decal starting this weekend.
We'll let you know if we hear more.