When I heard the Bears were bringing some kickers to try out at Halas Hall, I thought it was just for kicks (yuck yuck), but it turns out Robbie Gould’s strained left calf was a lot more serious than I thought. The Bears sent Gould to Injured Reserve, ending his season and signed journeyman kicker Olindo Mare to replace him.
Gould injured his calf during his pregame routine at Minnesota on Sunday and was limited to short field goals (the Bears didn’t have any) and extra points while punter Adam Podlesh handled kickoffs, except for the poor attempt at an onside kick that Gould failed to execute.
In losing Gould, the Bears lose one of the most reliable kickers in NFL history. Gould currently ranks fifth on the list at nearly 86% of made FG attempts.
In picking up Mare, the Bears get a journeyman kicker who’s been in the league since 1997. He spent a decade with the Dolphins before bouncing around from the Saints, Seahawks, and Panthers the last several seasons. He’s been out of football since spending last season with the Panthers. Mare has a career FG percentage of 81.2%, a substantial dropoff from Gould in the kicking world.
Sherrick McManis and Craig Steltz also headed to the Injured Reserve list, further weakening the Bears special teams.