Panthers' Kicker Workouts Are Bad News Following Zane Gonzalez Injury

Tyler Maher
Who will the Carolina Panthers use to replace kicker Zane Gonzalez?
Who will the Carolina Panthers use to replace kicker Zane Gonzalez? / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Carolina Panthers are scrambling to find a last-minute replacement for kicker Zane Gonzalez, who was carted off the field with a groin injury while warming up during the team's Friday night preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

The options they're bringing in a for a free-agent workout on Monday should really concern Panthers fans.

With Gonzalez's injury deemed "significant," the Panthers will take a look at Eddy Pineiro and Brian Johnson on Monday, both of whom played for Carolina's special teams coordinator Chris Tabor on the Chicago Bears.

Pineiro, 26, served as the Bears' kicker in 2019 and played for the New York Jets in 2021, going 31-for-36 on field goals and 36-for-39 on extra points. He's also spent time with the Las Vegas Raiders and Indianapolis Colts.

Johnson, 23, split time between the New Orleans Saints and Washington Commanders as a rookie last year, hitting all 10 of his field goal attempts but missing four of his 13 extra point attempts. He also played on Chicago's practice squad.

This is the second major injury for Gonzalez in as many seasons, as he missed the final four games of the 2021 campaign as well. With two weeks to go until their first game, the Panthers have limited time to find a new kicker before the season starts, which likely explains why they're auditioning Tabor's former players.

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