After being ‘blindsided’ by trade, Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro ready for Raiders
He remains motivated by the trade — “The Raiders gave me up for pennies,” he said during training camp — but said he’s looking forward to seeing his former teammates Sunday.
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock called kicker Eddy Pineiro at his apartment May 6, hours after a practice in which he didn’t miss a kick.
Pineiro was on a plane to Chicago less than two hours later, traded for a conditional 2020 draft pick that will transfer once he takes the field Sunday in London.
‘‘I was definitely blindsided because I felt like I was doing really good and I was competing and doing well,’’ Pineiro said Tuesday. ‘‘But everything happens for a reason.’’
Pineiro, who is 8-for-9 on field goals this season, won the Raiders’ kicking job last preseason, only to hurt his groin. He was frustrated when the team put him on injured reserve rather than let him try to return a few weeks later.
He remains motivated by the trade — ‘‘The Raiders gave me up for pennies,’’ he said during training camp — but said he’s looking forward to seeing his former teammates Sunday.
Pineiro said he feels better than he did the last two games, when he kicked with a pinched nerve in his right knee. He felt less pain against the Vikings than he did against the Redskins.
The Bears have a bye week after the game against the Raiders, which ‘‘will be a big week for me to get completely healthy,’’ Pineiro said. ‘‘I think my knee is getting a lot better.’’
Pineiro has had to lock his right leg out during his follow-through to ease the pain, and that has affected his swing. Then there was the fear of a Raiders repeat.
‘‘Obviously, you think about it and go: ‘Man, I got injured in Oakland and ended the year [on injured reserve]. And now this happens,’ ’’ he said. ‘‘For me, it was just a mental thing.’’
Pineiro said playing Sunday at Tottenham Stadium will be just as important to him as playing the Raiders.
‘‘My dream was always to be a professional soccer player growing up as a kid,’’ he said. ‘‘So it’s going to be a special moment.’’