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Like Khalil Mack, Eddy Pineiro ready to face Raiders

As London calls for the Bears and Raiders to toe the line for the 2019 season's initial international showing, current Chicago pass-rushing power Khalil Mack's first time playing his former team is the storyline front and center. Deservedly so, as Mack has performed thus far in a decorated career like a generational talent.

However, there's another current Bear who was shipped to Chicago from Oakland.

Before emerging from all the kicking competitions and chaos, Eddy Money was Eddy Pineiro, an undrafted free agent signed by the Raiders who never played a down for the Silver and Black before he was traded to the Bears for a seventh-round pick in the spring.

With a troubled right knee and a near-perfect slate kicking through four games, Pineiro will now put his best foot forward against his old team -- just like Mack, albeit with far less fanfare.

"I remember having a really good practice," said Pineiro of the May day in which he was traded, via the team website's Nathan Smith. "I didn't miss that practice, and I was doing really good, and then the GM called me and said, 'Hey, we have a good opportunity for you to be the Bears' kicker.' Yeah, they just put me on a plane like two hours later, and I left."

While Pineiro has played through his knee ailment so far in 2019, in 2018 he was placed on injured reserve for the duration of the Raiders season.

"I think my knee is getting a lot better," Pineiro said. "The training staff here is doing a great job. I'm trying to recover as fast as I can and the bye week's going to be a big week for me to get completely healthy."

While Pineiro's stay in Oakland was brief, he's quickly been embraced by Chicago, no doubt because he's been successful. Through four weeks, he's 8-of-9 on field goals, including a dramatic game-winner in Week 2 against the Broncos, and 6-for-6 on point-after attempts.

As he looks to convert his first European kicks, Pineiro insists his focus is right where it's been and that's on turning his opportunities into points for the Bears.

"To me, it's not a big deal," Pineiro said. "Just gotta make my kicks like every other game and that's what I'm focused on."

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