Chicago Bears Place Kicker Robbie Gould on Injured Reserve

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 11, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 02:  Robbie Gould #9 of the Chicago Bears celebrates his game-tying field goal against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on December 2, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 23-17 in overtime.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have been forced to switch kickers as the reliable Robbie Gould has been placed on injured reserve.

ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright reported the news, and the Bears’ Twitter added that Olindo Mare would replace Gould.

Bears announce Robbie Gould (calf) and Sherrick McManis (knee) and Craig Steltz (chest) on IR.

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) December 11, 2012

LM: #Bears have replaced injured Robbie Gould with 16-year NFL veteran Olindo Mare, who last kicked for Panthers last year.

— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 11, 2012

As Wright noted in a separate post, Gould strained his calf while warming up for the Bears game against the Minnesota Vikings this past weekend, and the injury certainly affected his performance. Punter Adam Podlesh took over Gould’s kickoff duties. 

The Bears lost 21-14 to the Vikings, and have dropped four of their last five games. Gould’s injury likely cost Chicago points when the team reached Minnesota’s 35-yard line but had to punt as it did not have an active player capable of kicking a field goal from that distance.

The 30-year-old has made 85.6 percent of his attempts over eight seasons. This season, he has made 21 of his 25 kicks and pushed his career point total to 902.

Mare has not kicked for a team this season, but during his 2011 campaign with the Carolina Panthers, he made 22 of his 28 field goals. Over his lengthy career, he has made 81.2 percent of his attempts. 

The Bears will hope the 39-year-old can be as reliable as he has been for other teams in the past, as Chicago cannot afford many more mistakes. The team now trails the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North, and the Vikings are just one game back.

While the playoffs seemed certain for the Bears a few weeks ago, the team may be in a much less favorable position if it cannot beat the Packers this coming weekend.