We talk all the time in the NFL about dual-threat players. Quarterbacks who can throw and scramble. Running backs who can gain yards between the tackles and catch passes. Wide receivers who can beat their man downfield and contribute in the run game. Defensive linemen who can rush the passer and defend the run. Linebackers who can cover and blitz.
Now, we have a safety who can, well, do safety stuff ... and also do kickoffs. Here's Houston Texans safety Justin Reid taking the opening kickoff of the team's final 2021 preseason game, and actually getting the ball all the way to the end zone.
It turns out that the Texans' regular kicker, Ka'imi Fairbairn, was injured during pregame warmups. However, it's not expected to be an issue that will affect him suiting up for the season opener in a couple weeks.
"He's got a little pulled muscle, and we don't want to chance it," Texans coach David Culley said, via Pro Football Talk. "We want to get him ready for Jacksonville."
Reid, a former third-round pick, has been a starter in each of his three seasons with Houston. He was a core special-teamer as a rookie, and he's played some snaps here and there over the last two years. But this is taking things quite a bit further than being a gunner or working on the return unit.
In warmups, Reid was spotted practicing field goals. And his form looked pretty good.
It's not completely unprecedented for a position-player to take a kick in an NFL game. Bill Belichick famously let Doug Flutie try a drop-kick extra point back in the day, for example. It's obviously a bit different to do this in a preseason game than during the regular season, but given how the Texans' season is expected to go this year, maybe we'll actually get to see Reid give it a try during the real games.