MINNEAPOLIS — Bears kicker Cody Parkey hit the right upright in the second quarter Sunday, the third time he has drawn iron on an extra point this season.
Coach Matt Nagy said it wasn’t Parkey’s fault.
“We gotta be better all around,” he said. “There were some other parts to that miss. . . . You’ll see it on tape.”
Film showed a high snap that holder Pat O’Donnell was nonetheless able to get down. Nagy said he didn’t want Parkey, who has missed 10 kicks this season, to get criticized.
“Cody’s taken a lot this year — and he’ll take some of it [Sunday],” Nagy said. “But I’m gonna protect Cody on this one.”
Parkey, who hit the upright on two extra points and two field goals Nov. 11 against the Lions, said the kick felt good off his foot. He redeemed himself a bit with a 42-yard field goal that gave the Bears a 14-point lead with 4:25 to play.
“I’m confident every time I go out there,” Parkey said. “I’m human and sometimes it doesn’t go my way. But I stay positive, and good things happen.”
Right guard Kyle Long started in his return from injured reserve, playing about 30 snaps before being replaced by Bryan Witzmann.
The three-time Pro Bowl player broke his right foot Oct. 28 against the Jets. The Bears activated him off IR on Saturday.
“I wouldn’t say it’s like riding a bike, but is somewhere near that,” Long said. “Probably more like riding a skateboard — some balancing and stuff like that involved.”
Long figures to start the wild-card game, where he won’t be on a snap count.
“It was perfect, really, for him,” Nagy said. “We communicated after every drive to see how he felt. For him to get back into a game environment, hear the plays in the huddle and for him to play the way he played, I’m glad. I like where he’s at.”
Howard has been on the run
Jordan Howard had 109 rushing yards, including a 42-yard scamper on the game’s second play, and two touchdowns. It marked the second time this season that he reached triple digits on the ground. He has scored two touchdowns twice this season.
“When you get the run game going and have positive plays, it makes it harder on the defense,” quarterback Mitch Trubisky said.
Nagy unleashed his latest red-zone trickery —this time on a two-point conversion attempt — when Trubisky threw a scoring pass to inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski.
Kwiatkoski lined up as a wingback and was open in the right flat after the Bears faked a fly sweep to, of all people, cornerback Prince Amukamara.
“He just threw it up,” said Kwiatkoski, who played running back in high school.
The play, which was installed earlier this week, was called “Lollipop,” Kwiatkoski said, a familiar theme among Bears trick plays. The Bears also have run “Willy Wonka” and “Oompa Loompa” this year.