Bears kicker Cairo Santos: ‘I just gotta do my job’

Bleary-eyed and frustrated, Cairo Santos didn’t try to explain away what happened Sunday.

“I just gotta do my job,” he said after a 28-19 loss to the rival Packers. “I’m done making any excuses. There’s no excuse out there. It’s frustrating. I try to put in my ‘A’ product every day. I felt like I’ve done a great job there all year — I can be confident in saying that.

“On Sunday … the extra point consistency’s not there.”

With about six minutes left in the first half, Santos pushed an extra point right. He told holder Trenton Gill he thought he made it — everything felt pure, but it faded.

Santos was 21-for-24 on extra points before Sunday, with two misses coming in the Week 1 downpour and the third in a one-point loss to the Lions.

Amazingly, he’s missed four extra points this year — and only two field goals.

One of the two missed field goals came Sunday, and it might have swung the game. With about 12 minutes left and the Bears up two, Santos’s 40-yarder was blocked by Packers defensive tackle Dean Lowry.

Rookie tackle Braxton Jones was blocking Lowry but said his “bad pad level” allowed the Northwestern alum to get his hands up. Santos didn’t believe the kick was low.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said he talked to Santos for after the game to give him support. The kicker was already dreading having two weeks to think about the misses.

“You can’t wait for the next opportunity,” he said. “Going through a bye week, it stings even more.”

Leatherwood plays

Alex Leatherwood played his first snaps for the Bears, rotating with starting right tackle Riley Reiff.

The Bears claimed the 2021 first-round pick from the Raiders at the start of the season. Leatherwood then missed a month on the Non-Football Injury list after contracting mononucleosis. He lost 25 pounds and struggled to regain his conditioning.

“The first couple of weeks back, it was pretty rough,” he said. “There’s a lot of fatigue. … But I’m good to go now.”

Eberflus said Leatherwood had a good week of practice — an opportunity given him when Reiff missed Wednesday. Leatherwood was excited by playing well Sunday.

“Knowing that you get good blocks and people acknowledge it, it feels good,” he said. “It makes me want to go even harder, so I appreciate it.”

Claypool guts through

Six minutes into the second quarter, receiver Chase Claypool caught a 17-yard pass and twisted his right knee as he was tackled, fumbling. He went to the injury tent twice and ran on the sideline while testing a soft knee brace.

Claypool returned and finished with five catches for 28 yards.

He was unavailable after the game.

This and that

o The Bears and Packers entered Sunday’s game tied with an NFL-best 786 wins all-time. The Packers left Soldier Field with 787, marking the first time the Bears since 1921 haven’t had a share of the all-time lead.

o Fullback Khari Blasingame fell ill Saturday and was inactive. Tight end Trevon Wesco took his place but left in the first quarter with a leg injury.

Jason Lieser contributed to this story.

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