Late last night, Kai’imi Fairbairn was declared OUT for the season opener.
Was it a preseason jinx of making every one of his field goals and extra points through two games that Ka’imi Fairbairn would pull a muscle that benched him for the season opener? Or is it just unfortunate timing for the Houston Texans Kicker?
Well, whatever it is, it’s a huge blow to the special teams of the Texans. They were the best unit on the field for this team that’s in a rebuild. Fairbairn is headed to I.R. and will be out for at least three weeks. Earlier this week, former Carolina Panthers kicker Joey Slye was signed to the practice squad in what might have been an anticipatory move by Houston Texans General Manager Nick Caserio.
Slye’s career in Carolina lasted the last two seasons, and Slye hit 54/68 field goals in his time in Charlotte. His longest field goals were 55 and 56 yards, and even at one point almost setting the NFL record when he missed a 65-yard kick by a matter of inches.
Can Joey Slye keep the Houston Texans on track?
Dean Jones, the Site Expert over at Cat Crave wrote that Slye was one of the five players Carolina needed to have some competition for during training camp. Here’s what Jones had to say about Slye heading into camp:
"There’s no getting away from the struggles Joey Slye went through at times last season. The kicker missed some crucial attempts with the game on the line in 2020 and this appears to be his final chance to prove he can be a viable long-term option at the position."
This may be the biggest red flag if this Texans team truly needs a game-winning field goal. With how many close games the team played last year, who knows how many more of those situations they’ll be in this season.
Will Justin Reid continue to be the kickoff specialist? There are many questions about what was once the most solid and safe unit on the team. Let’s hope the Texans don’t need a game-winning kick down the road and make Slye’s time on the field be for extra points.