Here We Go Again: The Bears Have Another Kicking Situation on Their Hands

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Here We Go Again: The Bears Have Another Kicking Situation on Their Hands

Chicago Bears

Just when you thought it was over, a new Bears kicking conundrum has surfaced – seemingly out of nowhere.

Eddy Piñeiro entered the new year as the Bears’ unquestioned place-kicker. Because even when the team brought in Ramiz Ahmed for the sake of competition, Piñeiro responded by working out with punter/holder Pat O’Donnell and bulking up in the offseason. Things were lined up for Piñeiro to be Chicago’s Week 1 kicker once again. That is, of course, until a groin injury sidelined him.

And while the Bears signed Cairo Santos as an insurance policy for Piñeiro, it’s Santos who is turning heads in camp:

One would think Piñeiro has a leg up (lol) in this situation. After all, he made 82.1 percent of his kicks last year — including game-winners against the Broncos and Vikings. That should give him an edge over any competitor. HOWEVER, Piñeiro clearly isn’t healthy right now. And in a football world where the best ability is availability, you don’t have to squint to see where his current situation docks points off his scorecard.

As things stand now, Santos is healthy. That’s good news. Additionally, he is kicking well. This also counts as good news. In fact, it would put him in the catbird’s seat to be the Bears’ Week 1 kicker in an alternate universe. Heck, it’s possible that Santos *COULD* be Chicago’s top kicking option if Piñeiro remains out of action.

Can you imagine the can of worms that could open up if that’s the case? I can.

Would the Bears carry two kickers on the 53-man roster if Piñeiro isn’t fully healthy? Or could they try to sneak Piñeiro through waivers if the groin injury remains problematic? Aren’t there other kickers worth checking out if Piñeiro’s injury is serious enough? What are Stephen Gostkowski, Steven Hauschka, and Adam Vinatieri up to these days? That we’re even entertaining these options makes me itch.

Admittedly, the Bears’ treatment of their kicking situation since letting Robbie Gould walk has driven me nuts. And it’s possible that I’m projecting. Or maybe I’m not. It’s possible that I’m in the right to be troubled by this newfound kicking issue. It’s not as if the first eight months of 2020 haven’t taught us that having backup plans is essential. Because, apparently, that goes for kicking, too.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.