Texans inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton is expected to practice for the first time all season on Wednesday.
Sharpton, who's on the Physically Unable to Perform list after suffering a season-ending quadriceps injury in 2011, said last week that he had made good progress in his rehab and was eager to return.
"I just left him about 10 minutes ago," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Monday afternoon. "He looks really good. He's basically been put through some really hard workouts the last four days, and he's responded to them. All systems should be go for Wednesday to go back on the practice field."
After Sharpton gets back on the field, the Texans will have a three-week window in which to place him on the active roster once they deem him ready. How soon they do that remains to be seen.
"Probably all depends on what he looks like," Kubiak said. "You would love to think he comes out there and practices Wednesday and Thursday and say, 'Boy, I think he can help us.' The good news is we control that. There is no pressure on him. Obviously, he wants to get back on the field as quick as he can. He's chomping at the bit, but we'll make sure he's ready to go, make sure he puts his pads on, makes sure he's been through some things that he's shown us he's ready to go."
The Texans currently have only three inside linebackers on their active roster in Bradie James, Tim Dobbins and Barrett Ruud. Sharpton was expected to compete for a starting job with James in the offseason if he had been healthy.
A fourth-round draft pick out of Miami (Fla.) in 2011, Sharpton rotated with DeMeco Ryans in the first eight games of last season before he was injured.
"When he's played for us, he's played very well," Kubiak said. "He's an excellent special teams player. He's a very physical player, loves to hit, so all that, he can help us. Obviously, with our situation, losing Brian (Cushing), bringing Barrett along, Sharp knows what we're doing. He's been around (defensive coordinator) Wade's (Phillips) scheme and learned Wade's scheme, so that's not going to be a problem at all.
"We see a guy that can be factor – not just be active, but could become a factor for our team. So hopefully that'll happen. We'll see."