The Chicago Bears, a football team in the National Football League in the US, has signed Estonian defensive tackle Margus Hunt to their practice squad.
The Bears announced the move on Twitter on 8 September.
Hunt was signed by the Arizona Cardinals in the pre-season, but was cut after the team had to cut down its roster to 53 players to start the regular season.
According to Estonian Public Broadcasting, he then went to Chicago to work for the Bears and earned a contract alongside defensive tackle Damion Square to join the team’s practice squad.
The football season in the US started on 9 September when the defending Super Bowl champion, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, won a game with the Dallas Cowboys.
Da Bears, as the team’s nickname goes, had their first game of the season on 12 September against the Los Angeles Rams, but they lost 34-14.
One of the tallest NFL players
Margus Hunt is a 34-year-old Estonian professional American football defensive end. Originally from Karksi-Nuia, Estonia, he played college football at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, from 2007 to 2013, after which he was signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
He has also played with the Indiana Colts and the New Orleans Saints.
Before taking up American football, Hunt competed in the discus throw and shot put, and was the former world junior record holder in discus throw. At 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m), he is one of the tallest players in the NFL.
The Chicago Bears is a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference North division.
The Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl (1985), and hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise.
Cover: Margus Hunt in 2014 at the Cincinnati Bengals training camp. Photo by Navin Rajagopalan, shared under the CC BY-SA 2.0 licence.