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Bears kickers come up clutch to end practice early

After a long few months, the Bears finally had a kick to cheer about on Thursday.

Head coach Matt Nagy has thrown his group of kickers through the gauntlet this offseason after Cody Parkey's heartbreaking playoff double-doink against the Eagles.

After cutting Parkey, Nagy brought in eight kickers last month and then narrowed the list to three -- Chris Blewitt, Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro -- before cutting Blewitt on Wednesday.

On the final day of mandatory minicamp, Nagy wagered with his squad. Fry and Pineiro would each attempt a 40-yard field goal. If either kicker missed, the whole team had to undergo a conditioning test for the rest of practice.

In a change of pace, both kickers nailed their attempts and Nagy sent everyone home for the summer.

"We put a little heat -- shocking -- on the kickers for conditioning for the team," Nagy said, via ESPN. "They both nailed two 40-yarders down the middle, so our guys got out of gassers, which was nice. So if you heard any cheering, that's why.

"And then the cool thing was that I kind of got ahead of myself and I said, 'You wanna go double or nothing for the start of training camp?' I thought they'd balk, but they hawked me down and wanted more, and the two kickers were the first to jump at it and say, 'Let's go.' So that was good. They called my bluff. But they're running when we get back [to training camp]."

It's a welcome sight for Chicago to be embracing the kickers in a positive way heading into the break. But Nagy said Wednesday the Bears would still keep their options open over the summer -- even outside of Fry and Pineiro -- so the saga might not be over just yet.

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