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Bears kicker Pineiro suffers 'minor' knee injury in weight room and is questionable for Redskins game

Rich Campbell, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

CHICAGO -- Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro suffered a right knee injury in the weight room Friday and is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the Redskins, coach Matt Nagy said Saturday. Pineiro is right-footed.

Nagy characterized the injury as "minor" and believes Pineiro will play. However, there was uncertainty about Pineiro's game status after Saturday's practice.

"I really do think that we'll be OK," Nagy said. "We just want to make sure that we're doing everything the right way with him, with his pain. And we've got to communicate with him, see how he feels. It's probably going to be one of those deals where in a couple days (we'll see) where he's at, and we've got to make a decision."

Pineiro ignored a face-to-face interview request at his locker after practice. The first-year kicker packed his bag and departed without saying a word.

If the Bears determine they need to sign another kicker, they have until 3 p.m. Monday to do so.

Nagy mentioned punter Pat O'Donnell as a possible replacement for Pineiro, but that would be realistic only if Pineiro had a setback during Monday's game. The Bears undoubtedly will seek clarity on Pineiro's status before Monday's deadline to ensure they play with a trained placekicker.

 

Available free-agent kickers include Elliott Fry, whom Pineiro beat out in the preseason, and Kaare Vedvik, for whom the Bears made an unsuccessful trade offer in August.

"There are a lot of different scenarios that could happen, but I'm not going down that route," Nagy said. "I feel good that things will be OK. If they're not, then we just have to have a contingency plan when that time comes. If that's something that we've got to do something different, then we'll do that."

Pineiro's injury is a downturn to what had been his finest week as a kicker. He made all four of his kicks last Sunday in Denver, including field goals from 52 and 53 yards. He made the latter as time expired to give the Bears a 16-14 victory.

The performance strengthened his hold on a job for which he had spent the previous four months competing. It earned him NFL special teams player of the week honors and solidified Nagy's confidence him.

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