LAKE FOREST – When it comes to kickers in the Ryan Pace era of the Bears, especially after the release of Robbie Gould in 2016, it’s always a touch subject.
It was one Bears fans hoped not to hear much about in 2020 after Eddie Pineiro established himself as a kicker the franchise could move forward with last season.
But once again, it appears a kicker will be part of the narrative in training camp, though perhaps for reasons different than in the past.
Per numerous reports, including Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Bears will sign kicker Cairo Santos and will join the team when done with COVID-19 protocols. The team has yet to confirm the move.
Per Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, the reason concerns current Bears kicker Eddie Pineiro, who is dealing with a groin injury during training camp.
Bears fans might remember Santos from his brief stint with the team during the 2017 season. He appeared in just two games against the Eagles on November 26th and then against the 49ers on December 3rd. He hit one of the two field goals he attempted and both extra points before being put on injured reserve with a groin injury.
Santos broke into the NFL with the Chiefs in 2014 and was with the team through the 2017 season when he was let go after being placed on injured reserve with the same groin injury that would completely end his campaign with the Bears.
Since his time in Chicago, Santos has appeared in 14 games with the Rams, Bucs, and most recently the Titans in 2019. He struggled in Tennessee as he hit just 4-of-9 field goal attempts, including missing all four he tried against the Bills on October 6th, which led to his release.
Oddly enough, one of the kickers that would come to the Titans after him was Cody Parkey. He was released by the Bears after an inconsistent 2018 season where he missed a game-winning field goal attempt in the closing seconds of a Wild Card loss to the Eagles.