Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould injured his calf prior to last Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings -- he kicked extra points but did not attempt a field goal of a kickoff. With his status uncertain moving forward, Gould says that he and the team decided it would be in the Bears' best interest to move forward with a completely healthy kicker.
"The injury put us in a situation where we didn't know exactly when I could come back, so the decision was made to put me on injured reserve and bring in another experienced kicker," Gould said. "That was the best call for the team. I spoke with Lovie Smith and Phil Emery about it, and we were all on the same page. Whatever can help this team win a Super Bowl, that's what I want to see happen. These guys are working too hard for me to be selfish about this whole thing. It's tough for me personally, but for the team, that's the decision that had to be made."
(via ESPN Chicago)
When Gould fails to take the field on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, it will break a streak of 122 consecutive games with him as Chicago's kicker. Gould is not expected to have surgery on his calf, and has already started rehab and should be ready for the 2013 season. Gould was 21-25 on field goals this season and perfect on extra points.
HIs replacement is veteran kicker Olindo Mare, who has been a free agent this season after spending all of last year as the kicker for the Carolina Panthers. Mare is an 81.2 percent kicker over his career and made 22-28 for Carolina last season. He has never kicked in a cold weather city, but luckily for him and Bears, Chicago's final two games after Green Bay will be played indoors.