Panthers coach Ron Rivera was trying to do the Bears a favor.
Carolina called a timeout with less than five seconds to play in the second quarter of its preseason opener against Chicago at Soldier Field in an attempt to ice the kicker. The strategy, however, did not work out as Elliott Fry nailed a 43-yard field goal just before halftime.
— Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) August 9, 2019
The move was unusual in an exhibition game and Rivera was asked about it after his team’s 23-13 win.
“I did that to help the Bears,” Rivera told reporters. “They’re in a kicking contest. At the end of the day, you just never know. It’s one of those things you think about. You want to see how it works and you do it. And, there’s an alternative reason to doing it now in the preseason, as well.”
Ron Rivera is at the podium https://t.co/F8ny1NlnTj
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 9, 2019
The Bears have been looking for a new kicker since they released Cody Parkey in late February. Parkey signed a four-year, $15 million contract, with $9 million guaranteed, with Chicago in March 2018. But, he was inconsistent last season and missed a potential game-winning 43-yard field goal attempt with time winding down in the team’s playoff loss to the Eagles. The NFL officially ruled the kick was tipped.
Fry is competing with Eddy Pineiro for the Bears’ kicking spot. Chicago acquired Pineiro from the Raiders in May in exchange for a conditional 2021 seventh-round pick.
The 43-yarder was Fry’s only field goal attempt of the game while Pineiro made one kick from 23 yards away but missed from 48 yards out.