Eddy Pineiro will start the season as the kicker for the Chicago Bears after an exhaustive offseason search to fill the position.
The Bears and Green Bay Packers kick off the NFL’s 100th season on Thursday at Soldier Field.
“He deserves it,” coach Matt Nagy said Sunday. “He earned every right to be our kicker.”
The team cut Cody Parkey after he missed a 43-yard attempt that would have given Chicago a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round of the playoffs in January. The Bears lost 16-15 following the missed the kick with seconds remaining.
Parkey missed seven field goals and three extra points during the 2018 regular season.
In June, the Bears waived former Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt, one of three kickers who took part at mandatory minicamp. More recently, the team released former Alliance of American Football kicker Elliott Fry.
Pineiro, 23, kicked collegiately at Florida and signed in May 2018 with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent. He was placed on injured reserve in September and missed the season. The Bears acquired him in May for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In the preseason, he hit 8-of-9 field goal attempts with a long of 58 yards.