Piñeiro 'still part of' Bears' plans for 2020 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
When Bears kicker Eddy Piñeiro didn't kick at any point during training camp, it led to speculation about whether or not he'd be ready for Week 1. A month later, as Piñeiro remains sidelined with a groin injury, the Bears still insist that he's expected to return in 2020.
"I think he is still part of our plans, and I think he’s progressing," special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said. "I get updated by the trainers on that. Looking forward to when he can come back."
Cairo Santos has filled in admirably for Piñeiro, going 7-9 on field goal attempts – while hitting all 10 extra points – through the first five games. After missing kicks in two of his first three games, Santos has been perfect (3-3) since the Week 4 loss to Indianapolis.
"I think he’s growing with the Chicago weather and I think his confidence is high and I really like where he’s at," Tabor said of Santos' 2-2 performance against Tampa Bay, which included a game-winner. "Those are two big kicks, and really proud of him and he has that ability and the offense did a great job of getting us in position there. So glad he made them.”
As for signing Kai Forbath last week, Tabor chalked up the move as a precautionary measure.
"I think what it brings is a security," he said. 'I mean obviously there’s a lot of COVID issues going around right now. At that position, if someone would wake up in the morning with COVID, we’ve been in a lot of tight games and you don’t have a guy that can go out and make a field goal. That’s concerning."
"Kai is a guy that’s obviously been in this league a long time. He’s really a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency, is what he is. That’s where we’re at with him, and that gives us security."