Texans DT Hassan Ridgeway Suffers Achilles Tear; K Ka’imi Fairbairn Could Miss Time

During the Texans’ dramatic win in Week 9, their defense and special teams units suffered injuries. Their D-line will be shorthanded while the team could be in need of a kicker in the near future.

Defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway suffered a torn Achilles in the victory over the Buccaneers, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports. That will require surgery, and his season will be over as a result. The 29-year-old signed a one-year, $4MM deal in free agency in a move which allowed him to follow head coach DeMeco Ryans from San Francisco to Houston. He had been in the starting lineup due to Sheldon Rankins‘ absence.

Ridgeway was activated from IR in time for Week 9, but his return has proven to be short-lived. In all, Ridgeway’s 2023 campaign will have consisted of just 62 defensive snaps and six tackles. As Wilson notes, the Texans are hopeful Rankins will be able to play in Week 10, a development which would soften the blow of the lost depth along the defensive interior.

In other injury news, kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn – who exited Sunday’s win with a quad injury – could miss time. Wilson reports he is set to undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of his injury, but there is already “concern” within the team that a multi-game absence could ensue. Houston managed a last-minute victory in Week 9 in part with several two-point attempts, but backup running back Dare Ogunbowale made his only field goal attempt during the contest.

Fairbairn, 29, has enjoyed another strong season, his seventh with the Texans. He has converted 18 of 19 field goal attempts (including every one from inside 50 yards), as well as all 14 of his extra point kicks. That has him on track to increase what is already a very strong career average on FGs (86.5%), and his absence would obviously be acutely felt. It will be interesting to see how the 4-4 Texans proceed in search of a short-term Fairbairn replacement if one does indeed become necessary.

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