The Bears' kicking competition is over, for now, with Eddy Pineiro the winner.
The Bears announced Sunday that Elliott Fry was released after an offseason and preseason competition with Pineiro and several other kickers to replace Cody Parkey.
"I feel like I've done well," Pineiro said. "I feel like I've kicked well. From OTAs to where I am today, I feel like I'm a completely different kicker."
The Bears had been looking for a kicker since cutting Parkey following his "double-doink" field goal miss of 43 yards in their 16-15 playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Coach Matt Nagy said Pineiro had not necessarily won the job for the regular-season opener against Green Bay on Sept. 5.
"I want (players) to have the mentality that Eddy is going to be that guy, but we're getting to that point right now where you're getting toward the end of the training camps where there's going to be transactions for a lot of different teams at a lot of different positions," Nagy said. "So if we feel like something is best for the Bears, that's what we'll do."
Nagy said it was a good time to make the decision between the two because it gives Pineiro a chance to prove himself before final roster cutdowns by other teams put more kickers on the market.
"Human nature is whenever there's two people for one spot, No. 1, every rep is getting cut in half and then mentally you just don't know," Nagy said. "Now there's a little more clarity.
"Again, it wasn't easy because they were very close. But that's what we decided to do. We're rolling forward with that and now he has two games here to show us what he can do."
Pineiro saw the benefits of the move.
"The way I look at it, I feel like I haven't won the competition," Pineiro said. "Everything's still open. Who knows if they bring somebody else in?
"But it does give me a confidence boost, like OK, I have a shot to be the guy and prove to the coaches that I can be the guy that they want me to be. So yeah, I feel a lot more confident."
Fry was among the first kickers the Bears brought in. At one point, they had nine trying out at Halas Hall in the offseason.
Fry came in after the Alliance of American Football folded. He kicked in college for South Carolina and had kicked in the AAF for Orlando. The Bears acquired Pineiro in a trade with Oakland for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2021.
Pineiro made field goals of 27 and 41 yards Friday in a 32-13 loss to the New York Giants and made a 23-yard kick in the preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers. He also missed a 48-yarder against the Panthers. Fry missed a 47-yard kick Friday and had made 43- and 23-yard kicks in the preseason opener.
Kicking in practices had been very close, with Pineiro owning a slight edge while displaying a stronger leg. He made a 63-yarder in practice.
Nagy said there initially was no overall plan to make the cut now, but it had simply worked out this way.
"I think for Eddy, though, he needs to understand that we feel really good with where he's at," Nagy said. "He's never kicked in an NFL game before. So that could go a couple different ways. It could go really good, it could go really bad. We don't know that answer.
"But for right now, we feel good with where he's at. We want him to keep kicking like he's been. But we're always going to keep that thing open."
Also, the Bears anticipate guard Kyle Long will practice this week after he was yanked from a Wednesday night scrimmage for fighting, removing the helmet of rookie Jalen Dalton and swinging it. Long didn't accompany the team on the trip to New Jersey to play the Giants, and Nagy said the team wanted to keep any other disciplinary action internal.
Guard Cody Whitehair injured a finger in Wednesday's scrimmage, but Nagy said he may return to practice this week when the Bears prepare to face Indianapolis on Saturday.
Tackle Rashaad Coward may miss the game against the Colts due to an elbow injury suffered against the Giants, though Nagy didn't think the injury was serious.
Major ankle injury ends Fountain's season
The Colts will put receiver Daurice Fountain on season-ending injured reserve with a dislocated and fractured left ankle.
Coach Frank Reich confirmed the diagnosis Sunday and said the Colts will give him all the support he needs.
The second-year receiver was injured on a running play during Thursday's joint practice with the Cleveland Browns. He could be heard screaming in pain above the near-capacity crowd at the Colts training camp facility before he was put on a stretcher, driven off the field on a golf cart and taken to a nearby hospital.
Time to be 'all in or all out'
Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown it's time to decide whether he's "all in or all out" about playing this season after losing a fight with the NFL and NFLPA over his helmet.
Mayock issued a statement expressing his frustration that Brown didn't participate in practice Sunday despite being healed from the frost-bitten feet that have sidelined him for most of training camp.
"You all know that A.B. is not here today. So here's the bottom line. He's upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that. We appreciate that," Mayock said. "But at this point, we've pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. So from our perspective, it's time for him to be all in or all out. So we're hoping he's back soon. We've got 89 guys busting their tails. We are really excited about where this franchise is going and we hope A.B. is going to be a big part of it starting Week 1 against Denver. End of story. No questions."
Brown has been upset that the NFL and NFLPA won't allow him to use the same Schutt Air Advantage that he has used throughout his career. Brown filed a grievance over the issue that he lost on Aug. 12 and then set out to find a newer version of the helmet that was less than 10 years old to get approved.
Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said last week after Brown returned to the Raiders training camp facility they had found several helmets and were waiting formal approval. Brown took part in pregame warmups before an exhibition game in Arizona on Thursday and took part in a walkthrough on Saturday, prompting coach Jon Gruden to express confidence that he would soon be able to practice.
The helmet was sent to the independent Biokinetics Inc. lab in Ottawa for testing with results shared with biomechanical engineers from both the league and union, a person familiar with the testing said on condition of anonymity because the results weren't released. The person said the helmet was no different than the 2010 version that had previously been rejected, and both the league and union determined it wasn't safe enough to be used.
Giants' Tate placed in concussion protocol
New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate has been placed in concussion protocol.
Tate sustained the concussion Friday night in the Giants' 32-13 preseason victory over the Chicago Bears. It was not known how long the 10-year veteran would be kept out of practice.
It was not a great week for the 30-year-old Tate, who learned earlier in the week that his appeal of a four-game suspension to start the season was upheld by the NFL office. Tate insisted that his failed drug test was due to him taking the fertility drug clomiphene.