Levi Horn, Northern Cheynne, had a tumultuous start to his second NFL season with the Chicago Bears. NativeNewsNetwork.com reported that over the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend, September 3, Horn was cut by the Bears as the team was going through their roster, paring it down to the 53-man NFL requirement. Then on Sunday, Horn was signed to their practice squad.
Every NFL team has a practice squad of up to eight players. They practice with the team but they do not travel with them, and they don’t suit up for home games. What they can do, however, is find themselves called upon by any other of the NFL’s 32-teams to join their active roster. In a sport as brutal as football, injuries happen constantly, especially along the offensive line where Horn plays. At 6’7” and 315 pounds, and as young as he is, this is hardly the end of Horn’s career, let alone his season. He could easily find himself filling in for an injured player at any point in the season.
One could surmise that if anyone could take this turn of events well, it would be Horn, one of the NFL’s truly good guys.
Horn, who grew up in Spokane, Washington, took time off the field this past July to speak to a gymnasium filled with young American Indians at the Alex Sherwood Memorial Community Center. The community center is sponsored by the Spokane Tribal Youth Council and Prevention Program, and the kids were all from the Spokane Reservation and surrounding areas.
Horn went there to help inspire these kids with his own life story, becoming an All-State athlete his senior year and gaining a scholarship to play football at the University of Oregon. He eventually transferred to the University of Montana and went on to get drafted into the NFL by the Chicago Bears.
Monica Peone of Rawhide Press wrote at the time, “Levi is an example for Native American Youth. He is actively utilizing his successes in athletics as a source of inspiration for Native people everywhere.”
Horn told the kids that they had to remember to never be afraid to get off the reservation and go for their dreams, whatever they may be. “Home will be there for you,” he told them, “You’ll be back and be a better person. Surround yourself with positive influences. They helped me become who I am today.”
Hopefully tomorrow, or a day soon after, Horn will be back on the roster of an NFL team, where he belongs.