When Chicago Bears’ kicker Robbie Gould first injured his calf last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, not much was thought about the severity of the injury. After all, Gould suffered the injury during pre-game warm-ups and was able to kick extra points despite not being able to handle kickoff duties. Punter Adam Podlesh handled kickoff duties against the Vikings last Sunday.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the injury to Gould has proven to be much more severe than originally thought. The Bears announced on Tuesday that Gould has been placed on injured reserve and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season and the playoffs if the Bears make it that far. Robbie Gould, when speaking of the decision for him to go on the injured reserved list, indicated it was decision that was made for the best interest of the team.
“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.” ESPN Chicago
Unfortunately, this decision will also hurt the Bears. The injury to Gould is the second significant injury that the Bears have been faced with in as many weeks. Last week, it was discovered that middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will miss at least the weeks leading up to the team’s final game of regular season against the Detroit Lions, though it is possible that Urlacher has played his last game of the season for the Bears. To anyone that may downplay the loss of Gould, remember that many games during the final month of the season and in the playoffs come down to a kicker’s ability to make an important late-game field goal.
The kicker that will now be in that position for the Bears is veteran Olindo Mare. Mare is 39 years old and was last seen kicking for the Carolina Panthers during the 2011 season. Mare had a field goal percentage of 78.6 percent for the Panthers last season. For his 16 year career, spent in large part with the Miami Dolphins, Mare has an 81.2 field goal percentage. Compare that to Gould who has a career field goal percentage of 85.6 percent.
Mare was not the only addition that the Bears made on Tuesday. The Bears signed linebacker Jerry Franklin and activated wide receiver Joe Anderson from the practice squad. In order to make room on roster, the Bears waived veteran offensive lineman Andre Gurode. Safety Craig Steltz and cornerback Sherrick McManis were also placed on injured reserve.