Ka'imi Fairbairn could make his 2021 regular-season debut in the coming weeks, possibly as soon as Week 4 in Buffalo. The Texans sixth-year kicker missed the league-minimum three games and has been designated to return off the Reserve/Injured list.
"I expect him to (come off IR), but we will know more about him on Wednesday," Head Coach David Culley said Monday. "This is what we targeted for him getting back."
Under NFL rules, designating a return off injured reserve allows a player to begin practices. The club then has a 21-day window to decide whether or not to activate the player to the 53-man roster. If the player isn't activated by the end of the three-week practice window, he remains on IR for the remainder of the season. Due to COVID-19, the league relaxed its IR rules. Now, teams can designate unlimited players to return from IR and they become eligible after missing just three games.
Fairbairn was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 8 after suffering a pulled leg muscle during pregame warmups of the final preseason game. The Texans signed K Joey Slye to fill in for Fairbairn. Slye, who played two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, has made 4-of-5 field goals and connected on 7-of-8 extra-point attempts through three games.
The Texans will face the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium in Week 4. Kickoff is set for Sunday at noon CT.
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