Recently, we here on Windy City Gridiron asked ourselves how comfortable we felt about rolling into 2020 with Eddy Pineiro as “the guy” at kicker. You can find our complete thoughts on that topic here.
The Bears’ front office and coaching staff had other ideas.
Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported the Chicago Bears are re-signing Cairo Santos once he clears the NFL-mandated COVID-19 protocol. Schefter was the first to report the news.
Bears are expected to sign former Chiefs’ kicker Cairo Santos after he clears Covid testing protocol Sunday, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 22, 2020
If the name sounds familiar, then it is because Cairo Santos was previously signed by the Bears in 2017 as Connor Barth’s replacement. Unfortunately, Santos’s first stint in the windy city was cut short due to a nagging groin injury that eventually landed him on I.R. He would finish 1-2 in field goal attempts and 2-2 in extra point attempts in five games.
Matt Nagy also knew Cairo Santos from their days together with the Kansas City Chiefs.
This signing comes as a bit of a surprise for a team prepping to play it’s first live game in a matter of weeks. At first glance, it would seem Cairo Santos was being brought in as an emergency option in the event something happened to Eddy Pineiro. Then this nugget from Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times came moments later:
ESPN reports the Bears plan to sign veteran K Cairo Santos. This comes after Matt Nagy gave a non-answer a few hours ago when asked how Eddy Pineiro is doing.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) August 22, 2020
That non-answer from Matt Nagy spoke volumes on how he felt about his option(s) at kicker. Eddy Pineiro made just over 82% of his kicks in the 2019 season, where he had some uneven play in his rookie season. Meanwhile, Cairo Santos hasn’t finished a full season since 2016, his last year with the Chiefs.
With “competition” being the theme of the Bears’ 2020 training camp, here’s yet another battle to watch via Twitterverse feed over the next couple weeks. The Chicago Bears are currently scheduled to begin their season at the Detroit Lions on September 13th.
UPDATE: Dan Weiderer of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Pineiro has been dealing with a groin injury.