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Chalk Talk: Has Santos earned job for rest of year?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on

Do you think that Cairo Santos has guaranteed himself the Bears' kicking job for the rest of the season?
Seth P.
Dyer, Indiana

There are few guarantees in the NFL, especially at the kicker position, Seth. But I can tell you that Cairo Santos has earned the trust of the Bears with his performance so far this season, particularly in the last two games. Both of his field goals in the fourth quarter against the Buccaneers—a 47-yarder followed by a game-winning 38-yarder—gave the Bears the lead in their 20-19 victory. And then he made all three of his attempts, including a career-long 55-yarder, in last Sunday's victory over the Panthers. Santos has converted 10-of-12 field-goal attempts so far this season, including his last seven straight. Asked about Santos' long-term job security this week, coach Matt Nagy said: "For me, it's such a week-to-week-type deal, but my confidence in Cairo is high, it really is. I have trust in him. He's done it, he's shown it and it's always been that way with him." Nagy added that he also has trust in Eddy Piñeiro, who remains on injured reserve with a groin injury, saying: "I have that, too, with Eddy, but Eddy is not out there. Eddy is not here."

I thought Bilal Nichols really stepped up and performed well against the Panthers. Would you agree that he made a big impact?
Ron G.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

In my humble opinion, I thought that Sunday's game in Carolina may have Bilal Nichols' best in his three seasons with the Bears. He was dominant against the pass and the run, registering three tackles, one sack and one tackle-for-loss. On back-to-back plays on the game's opening possession, Nichols sacked Teddy Bridgewater, coming an inch or two from recording a safety, and then pressured Bridgewater into throwing an interception on the next snap. On the Panthers' second possession, Nichols made an excellent tackle on running back Mike Davis, limiting him to a three-yard gain. The 2018 fifth-round pick from Delaware has really helped fill the void created by the absence of nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

How has Nick Foles played against the Rams during his career?
Pete K.
Evansville, Indiana

Nick Foles is 3-0 all-time against the Rams, completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 519 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and an 85.4 passer rating. All three wins came during his two stints with the Eagles. In two starts, he passed for 207 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 34-28 victory in Philadelphia in 2014 and 270 yards with no TDs and one interception in a 30-23 win in Los Angeles in 2018. Foles entered a 2019 game in Los Angeles after Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL and connected on 6 of 10 passes for 42 yards in a 30-23 win. That contest was the start of a championship run that was capped by Foles leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title and being named the game's MVP.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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