The Houston Texans have reportedly placed kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn on injured reserve due to a quad injury. Instead of committing to emergency kicker and backup running back Dare Ogunbowale as his full-time replacement, though, the team will start newly-signed Matt Ammendola at kicker in Sunday’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Texans are placing kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn on injured reserve due to his quad injury, sidelining him for a minimum of four games, per source. Now the newly-signed former Jet and Chief Matt Amendola – not RB Dare Ogunbowale, unfortunately – will kick Sunday vs. the Bengals,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday.
Fairbairn suffered the injury during the first half of Houston’s 39-37 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Initial reports suggested he might miss no more than a week of play, but Fairbairn’s injury is clearly more serious than first anticipated.
Houston activated Ammendola to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Saturday. He’s set to be the Texans’ kicker for at least the next four weeks.
Ogunbowale filled in as Houston’s kicker after Fairbairn’s injury, connecting on a 29-yard field goal, his only attempt. Earlier this week, Texans special teams coordinator Frank Ross explained why the team went to Ogunbowale at kicker instead of punter Cam Johnston in wake of Fairbairn going down.
Cam is Australian, they grow up playing Australian football — it’s like rugby,” Ross said, per Coty M. Davis of Texans Daily. “They have never hit anything off the ground before. They have a different leg swing. But the fact that we did have a guy with soccer playing experience, you will rather work with that same operation of Cam holding and Dare kicking.”