LANDOVER, Md. — Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro kicked with a pinched nerve in his right knee and vowed to keep playing through the pain.
Pineiro suffered the injury in the weight room Friday, and the team pulled him from kickoff duty in the 31-15 win over the Redskins. Pineiro went 4 for 4 on extra points, missed a 44-yard field goal and closed with a make from 38. He hobbled to the sideline after each one.
“I felt it on every kick,” he said with his right knee wrapped in ice. “I’ve gotta muscle through it. A lot of people play through pain.”
The Bears put punter Pat O’Donnell on kickoffs, and he was prepared to kick field goals if necessary (backup quarterback Chase Daniel would be the holder in that scenario). Pineiro didn’t think that would be necessary and had no doubt he will be ready for the game Sunday against the Vikings.
O’Donnell hasn’t done that since high school and did not try any in pre-game warmups, but the team had him kicking field goals up to 40 yards in practice as a precaution. O’Donnell said he kicks field goals in practice once or twice a month.
The injury was a buzzkill for Pineiro at the peak of his young career. He made a 53-yard field goal on the final play to beat the Broncos last week, then landed on the injury report two days before the Redskins game.
“It just sucks,” he said. “You hit a game-winner and you come back the next week and you’re in a good rhythm, then something like that happens. Just gotta overcome it.”