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Panthers coach Rivera hasn't decided on kicker

By Steve Reed

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Dec. 16 2011 2:30 p.m. MST

In this Dec. 11, 2011 photo, Carolina Panthers' Olindo Mare (10) watches his field goal attempt sail wide against the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter of the Falcons' 31-23 win in an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C. Head coach Ron Rivera said the team will look into bringing in kickers for tryouts after veteran Mare missed a crucial field goal in Sunday's loss to Atlanta. Mare just signed a four-year, $12 million deal with the Panthers this past offseason.

Nell Redmond, Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he won't decide until Saturday if Olindo Mare will remain the team's kicker this Sunday against the Houston Texans or if he'll hand the job over to rookie Adi Kunalic.

The Panthers signed Kunalic on Tuesday after Mare missed a 36-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter that would have given his team a 26-24 lead against Atlanta. The Panthers went on to lose the game 31-23.

Rivera says Mare "kicked the ball well" this week.

He also says Kunalic is a little sore from the extra kicking.

Pro Bowl left tackle Jordan Gross is expected to play this week after missing the Atlanta game with a right ankle injury. The only Panther unlikely to play is cornerback Darius Butler (concussion).

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