The Texans have promoted kicker Joey Slye to the active roster from the practice squad, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Slye has made 3 of 4 field goals as the replacement for injured kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn and all seven extra points. He has 10 touchbacks out of 12 kickoffs through two games with Fairbairn on injured reserve due to a groin injury.
Slye missed a 41-yard field goal attempt wide left against the Cleveland Browns in the fourth quarter. Texans special teams coordinator Frank Ross said that the Texans need better protection from the field goal unit.
A former all-state linebacker and kicker who walked on at Virginia Tech, Slye has made 57 of 72 career field goals for a 79.2 success rate. At 5-foot-11, 220 pounds, he’s known for his leg strength and booming kickoffs.
Slye was 25 of 32 on field goals and 31 of 35 on extra points in 2019. He was short by a few inches on an 65-yard field goal try last season in a loss to
The Texans do expect Fairbairn to eventually return. He got hurt during warmups against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the third preseason game.
“Unfortunate, not expecting that to happen at any point for a kicker,” Ross said previously. “Just an unfortunate deal for Ka'imi. He's going to recover. He's going to be all right and he is working his way back."
Signed to a four-year, $17.6 million contract that includes $9 million guaranteed and a $4 million base salary in 2021, the former Lou Groza Award winner from UCLA made 87.1 percent of his field goals last season (27 of 31) and 37 of 40 extra points last season.
In four NFL seasons, Fairbairn has made 104 of 123 field goals (84.6 percent) and 148 of 161 extra points (91.9 percent).
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.