The Texans have activated inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton from the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list, clearing the way for him to play on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They released safety Troy Nolan to create a roster spot for Sharpton.
A third-year pro out of Miami (Fla.), Sharpton suffered a season-ending torn right quadriceps injury last season against Jacksonville at Reliant Stadium in Week 8. He has practiced for the last two weeks and participated in contact drills for the first time this week.
"Unexplainable feeling to be able to go out and play football again," Sharpton said via text message. "It's a real honor to be able to put on a Houston Texans uniform again, and I'm going to play my heart out tomorrow for my teammates, this organization and the city of Houston."
Sharpton was close to returning from his injury in August but had a setback in his rehab on one of the first days of training camp. Had he been healthy this offseason, he would have competed with Bradie James for a starting job next to Brian Cushing, who is now out for the season with a knee injury.
Tim Dobbins, who has replaced Cushing in the starting lineup, is questionable for Sunday's game with a shoulder injury. The Texans' only other inside linebacker besides James was Barrett Ruud, who joined the team a few weeks ago. Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Friday that if Sharpton were activated, he would play against the Jaguars and be ready to contribute on special teams and defense.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2010, Sharpton played in 12 games as a rookie, starting six games late in the season after DeMeco Ryans suffered a season-ending injury. He rotated with Ryans in the first eight games of last season before he was injured on Oct. 30 against the Jaguars, the same team he will face in his return on Sunday.
Nolan, a fourth-year pro, played in four games for the Texans this season. He was signed on Oct. 3 to fill in for Quintin Demps, who is now healthy after suffering a broken thumb and forearm earlier in the season. Nolan was inactive for last Sunday's game at Chicago.