German kicker Dominik Eberle shines in NFL debut with the Houston Texans

As the grind of the NFL season wears on, more and more unlikely stars begin to emerge across the league. Longshots and practice squad prospects across all 32 teams wait months or even years for their moment to finally show their skills under the bright lights.

One such player finally got his long-awaited opportunity this weekend, as German kicker Dominik Eberle of the Houston Texans made his NFL debut. After living in the limbo of the league for more than a year Eberle suited up for his first game replacing Texans starter Ka’imi Fairbairn who was moved to the COVID-19 list.

In his debut, the Nuremberg, Germany native went two for three including a 51-yard boot to start his career. He also went five for five on extra points as the Texans cruised to a 41-29 upset victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Eberle finally made his NFL debut after more than a year and a half of living on the brink of the league. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Las Vegas Raiders following the 2020 NFL Draft.

The German was however released following training camp. Eberle was then re-signed by the Raiders in January of this year. He was then cut and re-signed twice by the Raiders before joining the Carolina Panthers practice squad in September. This week, Eberle was signed on Thursday before booting in 11 points on Sunday for Houston.

The 25-year-old entered the NFL after a record-breaking career with the Utah State Aggies (NCAA D1).  Eberle scored a school-record 359 points for the Aggies earning All-American Honors.

It remains to be seen what Eberle’s future is with the Texans as Ka’imi Fairbairn works his way off of the Co-vid list. Houston’s coaching staff showed confidence in the international’s leg giving him the job on short notice.

“Dominik Eberle is assuming those duties until further notice,” said Frank Ross, the Texans special teams coordinator.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football