The Chicago Bears knew they had to make room for newly-signed defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. What nobody expected was who the team would take off the roster in order to create that space. That ended up being kicker Eddy Pineiro. After missing almost all of training camp with a groin injury, he was placed on Injured Reserve just days ahead of the team’s opening day trip to Detroit.
Under the new CBA rules, this means he will miss at least the first three games of the regular season. Odds are Cairo Santon, whom the Bears signed over a week ago, will be elevated from the practice squad to take his place. Santos is a veteran who has familiarity with Bears head coach Matt Nagy. It’s likely the team wanted somebody with experience if Pineiro couldn’t go.
Whether Santos was the right choice is up for debate. Last season he kicked nine field goal attempts and missed five of them. He hasn’t kicked for an accuracy rate of over 80% since 2016 when he had his best year hitting on 31-of-35 attempts.
Chicago Bears must be reaching end of patience with Pineiro
Pineiro wasn’t “bad” by kicker standards last year. He was around 84% in accuracy. For his first year of actual action, that’s fine. However, he did develop a reputation during that time for having health issues. First it was a pinched nerve in his leg and then a groin issue. This marks the second such problem he’s had with that area of his body in less than a year.
Anybody who watched head coach Matt Nagy talk about him in recent weeks could see the visible frustration on his face. He’s clearly tired of talking about the kicker position. Yet that is the reality he’s stuck with. No doubt he hopes Santos can recapture some of that magic he had in Kansas City. Yet recent history doesn’t offer much hope of that happening. Especially in Chicago.