The Houston Texans will begin the 2021 season without their longtime kicker Kai Fairbairn, who the team placed on injured reserve today.
Fairbairn injured his leg during warmups before the Texans’ preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The writing was on the wall that he would be unavailable to start the year: Houston signed kicker Joey Slye to its practice squad earlier this week.
Fairbairn has been Houston’s kicker since 2017. For his career, he owns an 84.6% conversion rate on field goal attempts and has scored 460 total points.
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 8, 2021
Slye was the kicker for the Carolina Panthers the last two seasons, but the team released him in late August after trading for New York Giants backup Ryan Santoso.
In 32 career games, the Virginia Tech product has made 64-of-71 extra points but only 54-of-68 field goal attempts.
Because Slye is an injury replacement, he does not need to be signed to the Texans’ 53-man roster. Rather, the team can just promote him from the practice squad on game day.
The Texans will open the 2021 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.