You may not know this if you're a casual Houston Texans fan, but Ka'imi Fairbairn is pretty good. We don't just mean compared to Matt Ammendola, we're talking historically. He's arguably the best kicker that the Houston Texans has ever had, and while the franchise has only been around two decades or so, it's still impressive to be the top guy at a position.
And his impact hasn't been ignored. Especially in 2023. He's converted 86.5% of his kicks for his career and on the season he was 18-19 (94.7%), with his lone miss being from over 50 yards. He was on fire this season, but an injury sidelined his impressive season, and he hasn't played since Week 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccanneers.
Ammendola came in to replace him and he's been an acceptable backup for Fairbairn, but he hasn't been nearly as effective, especially this past weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars, were Ammendola missed two kicks from 50 yards, with the second being a potential game-tying kick from 58-yards. That heart-breaker bonked off the crossbar, falling just inches short.
It was a kick that Fairbairn may not have hit, so not a lot of people came down too hard on Ammendola, but despite the almost-impressive make, fans still want to know when Fairbairn is returning from his injury, and the good news is that it's sooner rather than later.
According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston (via CBS Sports) Fairbairn is targeting next week against the New York Jets to return from his quad injury. If that's the case, then Week 14 may see two legends return. Fairbairn, a Texans' legend and some young pup named Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles in Week 1 and has been cleared for practice this week.
What an epic showdown that would be.