A bright spot to Bears' kicking woes? Someone actually made a 43-yarder

The Chicago Bears congratulate kicker Elliott Fry (8) after he made a field goal during the first half of the team's NFL preseason football game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Mark Black )

We all know how the Chicago Bears season ended. Cody Parkey missed a 43-yard field goal that would have won the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round.

Fans booed, social media was set ablaze and Parkey was run out of town in the offseason. After Parkey was released, the Bears brought in a cavalcade of kickers to replace him and only a few were able to make that same 43-yarder when the pressure was on. Not great.

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The Bears finally got some decent news on the kicking front Thursday when undrafted rookie Elliott Fry made the team’s first field goal of the preseason in their opener against the Carolina Panthers.

The distance? 43 yards.

For some teams, that’s a chip shot. For the Bears, it was worthy of a standing ovation at Soldier Field.

The Bears signed Fry in April, shortly after the 24-year-old’s quick stint in the doomed Alliance of American Football. Before that, he was a four-year starter at South Carolina, where he left as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 66 field goals (on 88 attempts) and 161 extra points (on 162 attempts).

Fry is one of two kickers left on the Bears roster, alongside sophomore Eddy Pineiro, who spent all of last season on injured reserve with the Oakland Raiders. The Bears acquired him in May in exchange for a conditional seventh-rounder.

Given that Pineiro missed a 48-yarder in the same game as Fry’s field goal, the rookie might suddenly have a leg up in the league’s most curious kicking competition.

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