The Chicago Bears will be without former Pro Bowl kicker Robbie Gould for at least the remainder of the regular season. Gould would also likely miss the playoffs should the Bears make an appearance.
After pulling up lame with an apparent calf injury in pre-game warmups before Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Gould was replaced by punter Adam Podlesh on kickoff duties. Gould still managed to connect on both point-after attempts in the Bears 21-14 loss.
Gould, 30, hasn’t missed a game since Week 5 in 2005, which was his rookie campaign. He is currently in year 4 of a 5 year contract extension reportedly worth $15.5 million that he signed back in 2008. That contract made him the highest paid kicker in the NFL. Gould followed up his pay day by becoming one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, connecting on nearly 86% of all field goal attempts. That percentage ranks him 6th all time and 5th among active kickers.
With Gould out for the remaining 3 weeks, the Bears have signed veteran kicker Olindo Mare to fill his roster spot. Mare, 39, beat out a few other kickers who had private workouts at Halas Hall on Tuesday. He appeared in all 16 games for the Carolina Panthers last season and connected on 22 of his 28 field goal attempts, but missed both attempts he took from 50+ yards.
Other than Carolina, the 15-year veteran has played for the New Orleans Saints, the Seattle Seahawks and most notably for the Miami Dolphins. During his 10-year stay in South Beach, Mare was named a Pro Bowler and a 1st Team All Pro in 1999 when he led the NFL with 39 made field goals on 46 attempts. The Bears hope that he can recapture some of that greatness from over a decade ago and help propel their suddenly struggling team to a playoff berth.
And in true Bears fashion, Robbie Gould wasn’t the loan name heading to the IR this week. Safety Craig Steltz (chest) and special teams ace Sherrick McManis (knee) are both going to miss the remainder of the season thanks to injuries they suffered last Sunday. With these 3 additions, the Out/IR/PUP List has swelled to 9 players.
The Bears also made some non-injury related moves early in the week. They signed linebacker Jerry Franklin to a 2-year contract, waived former Pro-Bowl offensive lineman Andre Gurode after only 2 weeks with the team, activated wide receiver Joe Anderson from the practice squad, and signed guard Chris Riley to the practice squad.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks