There are certain aspects of fall in Chicago that other cities just can’t replicate. Whether it’s the first cold wind swirling through a playoff game at Wrigley, the 4:15 sunset, or endless optimism about Northwestern football turning it around in time for a New Years Six run, Chicago’s autumn overflows with rich tradition.
The Granddaddy of Them All, though, is the annual inquiry that’s as time-honored as asking for giardiniera and then picking off like half of it because god, that’s so much giardiniera.
Will the Bears’ kicker be practicing at Soldier Field??
It’s long been the harbinger of whether a kicker Has What It Takes to succeed here. Robbie Gould loved [loved] to talk about how much he practiced at Soldier, and Cody Parkey avoided heading south on I-90 like his job depended on it. Kickers will say it doesn't make or break their ability to hit field goals on the infamously-rough field, but the court of public opinion can be just as unforgiving.
As for Eddy Piñeiro? He *will* be working out at Soldier Field. Exhale! Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor confirmed the practice session during his weekly media session from Halas Hall on Thursday, saying that the kicker plans to head into the city to work on some things.
“We do [plan on going],” said Tabor, a man of few words. “In fact we're going to head down tomorrow.”
Kicking at Soldier only gets tougher when the temperatures dip. Much of the reason Piñeiro made it through a shaky start to OTAs and training camp is because what he lacked in accuracy, he made up for in leg talent.
After pinching a nerve in his kicking knee during a weight room session, many wondered whether he’ll still have enough power to hit some of the long-range kicks. According to the Bears, however, his rehab is progressing as planned and the power hasn’t left.
“He's fine,” Tabor also said, seemingly unconcerned with word count requirements for kicker updates. “Kicked well yesterday.”
In fact, Pineiro’s already at a place where he and the team feel that he’s close to returning to kickoffs.
“Hoping so,” Tabor added, commendably committed to the bit. “We're working on it and we'll see where that's at.”
So there you have it: Eddy Pineiro is practicing at Soldier Field tomorrow, feels almost 100 percent again, and may be back on kickoffs this Sunday.