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Eddy Pineiro Going on IR Highlights Bears Kicker Failures

Bears place kicker Eddy Pineiro on injured reserve as a result of a groin injury, but COVID-19 rules allow players to return after three weeks

Bears coach Matt Nagy says he has great confidence and ease thinking about Cairo Santos kicking for his team.

It's a good thing, because that's who will be kicking against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday.

The Bears will have to promote their practice squad kicker after putting Eddy Pinero on injured reserve Tuesday due to a groin injury. Pineiro does not have to miss half the season as IR meant in the past, because there is a three-week designation this year due to COVID-19.

Santos kicked in Kansas City for 3-plus seasons with Nagy working on Andy Reid's staff and Nagy said they always had great confidence in him with the Chiefs.

"So, I think that's good," Nagy said. "You want that with all of your kickers and he showed that the other day in Soldier Field. He has a great personality and he understands his role and where he's at and what his job is.

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"So for me, personally, just selfishly having him as a player in Kansas City helps out I think probably with the mindset here in Chicago."

Whether Pineiro will be ready to kick in three weeks after becoming eligible to return is anyone's guess.

Santos kicked for the Bears in two games in 2017 when they lost confidence in Connor Barth after he'd gone 11 of 16 on field goals. Santos made a 38-yarder and missed a 54-yarder in 31-3 loss against the Eagles. After that Week 12 blowout loss, the Bears lost to San Francisco 15-14 and Santos was again the kicker for the game when Robbie Gould returned to Soldier Field and made five field goals to give San Francisco a 15-14 victory over his old team.

Then the Bears had to put Santos on injured reserve the final four weeks due to a groin injury. They signed Mike Nugent, who finished out the season with four straight field goals but two missed extra points. He was replaced the next year by Cody Parkey.

There's no doubt the Lions will be going into this game with a huge advantage in place-kicking, considering Matt Prater is still their kicker and is kicking in a friendly home indoor environment.

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