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Houston Texans cut Joey Slye ahead of Ka’imi Fairbairn return

Sep 12, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans kicker Joey Slye (16) attempts a field goal during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans kicker Joey Slye (16) attempts a field goal during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans cut kicker Joey Slye on Thursday, just one week after signing him from their practice squad.

The move comes ahead of the expected return of Ka’imi Fairbairn from injured reserve. Fairbairn had pulled a groin muscle while warming up for the final preseason game vs. Tampa Bay in August. The 27-year-old returned to practice this week after sitting out the minimum three games.

“I don’t think you’re going to put a player out there that can’t perform to the best of his abilities on any phases or role being asked,” said special teams coordinator Frank Ross regarding Fairbairn, according to the Houston Chronicle. “If he’s going to go out there and be our kicker on Sunday, he’s going to be ready to kick whatever his range is. If he can kick from 75 out, we’ll kick from 75 out.”

According to the report, Ross said Fairbairn “cut it loose” in Wednesday’s practice, swinging his leg at full strength, and was not sore afterward.

The 25-year-old Slye was elevated from Houston’s practice squad prior their first two games to handle kicking duties and was officially signed to the 53-man roster ahead of last Thursday’s 24-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Slye made four of five field goals and converted seven of extra points in three games. He was released by the Panthers late last month after two seasons.

The Texans (1-2) visit Buffalo (2-1) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media