The Texans officially elevated kicker Joey Slye and tight end Antony Auclair to the active roster from the practice squad.
Slye replaces Ka’imi Fairbairn, who's on injured reserve for at least three weeks with a pulled groin.
Since the former Carolina Panthers kicker beat out Michael Badgley in a tryout Monday and joined the Texans’ practice squad, Slye has been building his timing with long snapper Jon Weeks and holder Cameron Johnston. In a hurry.
While Fairbairn is out for at least the next three weeks, it’s on Slye to perform and deliver in the clutch for a revamped kicking game.
A former all-state linebacker and kicker who walked on at Virginia Tech, Slye has made 54 of 68 career field goals for a 79.4 success rate. At 5-foot-11, 220 pounds, he’s known for his leg strength and booming kickoffs.
“Happy he gets a chance to prove himself as he works through with a new snapper and a new holder,” Texans special teams coordinator Frank Ross said. “Strong leg and excited to work with Joey. He's been great as far as professionalism and trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible.”
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 New Orleans Saints and short on a 67-yard attempt against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was cut by Carolina this year as they traded for Ryan Santoso.
“Obviously, when you see him in person for the first time, the guy is 220 pounds,” Ross said. “He's built like a linebacker. He played linebacker growing up. When you look at Carolina the last few years, they were banging touchbacks and he has the ability to do that. We'll definitely use that to his strength depending on situations in games.”
Auclair earned a Super Bowl ring last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At 6-foot-6, 256 pounds, he provides a strong blocking presence.
The native of Canada has 10 career receptions for 84 yards.
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 years and has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128