Bears vow faith in kicker Cairo Santos after 2 misses in downpour

Even though Santos had missed an extra point in a deluge of rain five minutes earlier, the Bears didn’t seriously consider going for a two-point conversion after scoring their last touchdown Sunday.

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Bears kicker Cairo Santos warms up in the rain before the Bears take on the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field on Sunday. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Bears kicker Cairo Santos warms up in the rain before the Bears take on the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field on Sunday. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times, Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Even though Cairo Santos had missed an extra point in a deluge of rain five minutes earlier, the Bears didn’t seriously consider going for a two-point conversion after scoring their final touchdown Sunday.

“At that point in the game, we tried to just go for it, kick for one,” special-teams coordinator Richard Hightower said Thursday.

Santos then missed his second extra point of the game. Hightower, though, expressed confidence in his placekicker — both Sunday and going forward.

“Guys drop balls, guys miss extra points — things happen,” he said. “I mean, God bless him if he can make them in that type of condition, all of them.

“I got all the confidence in the world in Cairo, and everybody here does. And he had a really great day [Wednesday]. Looking forward to seeing him kick again. I know he’s fired up about it.”

Santos missed exactly one extra point in each of the last three seasons before missing two Sunday. Hightower said the new Soldier Field turf held up fine, but the rain made kicking difficult.

“It’s tough to snap the ball in that condition,” he said. “It’s tougher to catch a ball in that condition, and it’s actually the hardest to kick the ball in that condition because when it’s raining like that, the balls become heavier, they don’t travel as well. It’s just a difficult situation to kick in.”

Injury report

One day after practicing for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury during the preseason, rookie receiver Velus Jones was held out of practice Thursday. He missed all three practices last week, as well as the season opener.

Fullback Khari Blasingame missed practice because of a personal matter. Tackle Riley Reiff returned to practice as a full participant after being limited Wednesday. 

Two Packers starting offensive linemen — tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) and guard Jon Runyan (concussion) — did not practice Thursday. Bakhtiari, who tore his ACL on Dec. 31, 2020, was expected to be on a day-on, day-off practice schedule. 

Allen Lazard, who is nominally the Packers’ No. 1 wide receiver, was limited for the second straight day. He hasn’t played this season after hurting his ankle when a lineman stepped on it in practice two weeks ago. 

This and that

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy tried to take the blame for a near-interception by quarterback Justin Fields, saying that Dante Pettis — and not Equanimeous St. Brown — should have been on the field.

“I should’ve had the personnel different,” Getsy said. “ ‘EQ’ hadn’t practiced that route, so the timing and the rhythm, I put that on me.”

Former Bears safety Tashaun Gipson knocked the pass down and could have caught it. Two plays later, Fields threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Pettis.

• Hightower referred to punter Trenton Gill using a towel to dry the turf Sunday, which prompted a 15-yard flag, a “mistake” that “we all learned from.”

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