LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Since joining the Bears just prior to the regular season in 2020, veteran kicker Cairo Santos has mostly been a model of consistency.
But Santos has endured a rare rough stretch lately, missing a field-goal attempt or an extra-point attempt in four of his last five games. Santos has connected on 18 of his 20 field-goal attempts (90.0%) this season but has converted just 24 of his 29 extra-point attempts (82.8%).
The 31-year-old Santos is in a slump, but Bears special teams coordinator Richard Hightower believes he'll pull through it.
“I don’t think it’s anything to do with his confidence,” Hightower said Wednesday. “I think he’s a confident person. He does a really good job. He’s a technician. I just think he’s had a rough go where he’s missed a couple kicks. I think that happens to any player. Like, a player can have a couple drops catching passes. It’s just more magnified because it’s the kicker, and everybody thinks you should make every kick. And we want to make every kick. And our goal is to make every kick. But he’s still reliable. He's got to get better on his extra points right now. He’s been doing really well on field goals. But I think the change he’s made has helped him and we’ll continue to coach him and help him out.
“We got full confidence in Cairo. We got full confidence and expect him to make his kicks this week.”
Santos has hit 89.3% of his field-goal attempts and 92.7% of his extra-point attempts over 48 games with the Bears, which includes a brief two-game stint with the team late in the 2017 season. Santos was signed by the Bears in August 2020 after Eddy Pineiro suffered a groin injury during training camp.
Santos is under contract with the Bears through the 2023 season.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.