Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro is still hurting, but he made all three of his field-goal attempts Sunday in the 16-6 win over the Vikings.
He continued to play through a pinched nerve in his kicking knee and is intent on gutting out the upcoming game against the Raiders before giving it extended rest on the ensuing bye week.
“I feel like it’s healing and getting better,” Pineiro said. “The only thing that’s frustrating is the pain part, but a lot of guys play with pain, so I’ve gotta just get through it.”
On a day when points were sure to be hard to come by because of the weather and the Vikings’ defense, Pineiro made a 25-yard field goal at the end of the first half and hit from 38 and 30 in the third quarter. The Bears used punter Pat O’Donnell on kickoffs for the second game in a row.
The Bears have been vague about whether the injury impacts Pineiro’s range and influences whether they go for it or punt on fourth downs versus letting him try a long one. They went for it on a fourth-and-3 in the second quarter rather than send Pineiro out for a 51-yard kick.
Pineiro was up for that attempt, but admitted, “The longer ones put more stress on it.”
The pain forced Pineiro to diverge from his routine leading up to the game. Instead of taking two days of heavy field-goal work in practice, he was limited to 20-25 kicks Friday indoors at the Walter Payton Center. He did not kick outside until shortly before kickoff.
He expects a similar program this week, when the Bears are practicing in Lake Forest on Wednesday and Thursday before traveling to London to face the Raiders. It’s likely Pineiro’s only preparation will be a limited kicking segment Friday at Allianz Park in suburban London.
“Yeah, I’m totally confident,” said Matt Nagy, who added there was nothing to gain when the Bears bypassed a 45-yarder on fourth down with 30 seconds left. “He’s in a good place now. The kid is battling through his knee right now, and there’s no excuse... It’s a good story, and we want to keep that story rolling.”