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Training Camp Report

Bears intend to keep two kickers this season


What's better than one kicker you trust? For the Bears, the answer is two.

Coach Matt Nagy told reporters Tuesday that the team plans on keeping both Eddy Piñeiro and Cairo Santos around this season. The Bears have not yet decided whether both will be on the 53-man roster or one will be kept on the practice squad.

"We're working through that right now," Nagy said. "But one way or another, we'll have two. It's just too important. So we're going through that. I would say that's something that internally we'll keep to us. We have a plan. But we'll definitely be having two for sure."

The Bears remain high on Piñeiro, who made 82.1 percent of his field-goal attempts (23 of 28) last year in his first season in Chicago. But Piñeiro is currently hampered by a groin injury. In discussing the status of Piñeiro and injured teammates Allen Robinson and Akiem Hicks Tuesday, Nagy said the "concern level is not very high at all. I think for us, it goes back to making sure that whatever happens, we do everything possible so they're ready for Week 1."

“One way or another, we’ll have two [kickers]. It’s just too important.” Bears coach Matt Nagy

On Tuesday, Santos signed with the Bears and participated in practice. He has converted 80.6 percent of his field-goal attempts (108-of-134) over six NFL seasons with the Chiefs (2014-17), Bears (2017), Rams (2018), Buccaneers (2018) and Titans (2019). 

Santos made 4-of-5 field-goal tries in two games with the Bears in 2017 before sustaining a season-ending groin injury. He opened last season with the Titans but was released after missing all four of his field-goal attempts in a Week 5 loss to the Bills.

Santos converted 84.8 percent of his field-goal attempts (89 of 105) during his first four NFL seasons with the Chiefs when Nagy was a Kansas City assistant.

"Eddy has the groin that we're working through right now," Nagy said. "Cairo is here because of the plan that we had all along, which is to have a backup kicker. If something does happen to Eddy, we feel very good with Cairo. They're both here. We're satisfied with both of them. I have a history with Cairo in Kansas City. I've seen him make a lot of kicks, so there's a comfort level there. He was here before, obviously, with [general manager] Ryan [Pace]. 

"When Eddy feels like he's ready to get out there and start kicking again, that's what we're going to do. Now, if it gets to a point where we feel like he's not ready, then we feel comfortable with Cairo being our kicker in Week 1 if that's the case. We've just got to see."

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