After practicing fully for the second consecutive day, Texans safety Quintin Demps is on track to return from a broken forearm that has sidelined him since Week 4.
Demps is wearing a pad on his left forearm and a cast over his right thumb, which he broke in Week 3 at Denver.
"Watching him practice today, I know he had one interception," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Thursday. "He might've had two, so he's using his hands good. He's big to our team. He's played well for (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano). All the indications today coming out of the padded practice (are) that he should be ready to resume his role this weekend, so that's important to us."
Demps' role was a starter in nickel and third-down defense. When healthy, which he now appears to be, he is the Texans' top backup to Danieal Manning and Glover Quin.
"Except for two broken arms, he's doing pretty good," Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said, smiling. "He's a good player. It'll be good if he can get back and play."
Troy Nolan has taken Demps' place in the lineup in the last three games. He has five tackles. Demps, a fifth-year pro out of UTEP, had 13 tackles and a pass defensed in the first four games of the season. He had 22 tackles, two interceptions and four passes defensed in 2011.
"It's crazy," Demps said of his injuries. "It's been a struggle, but without no struggle, you can't get better. I'm just looking forward to getting back with my teammates and making progress."
In other injury news, running back Ben Tate (hamstring) and guard/center Cody White (illness) did not practice on Thursday. Tate's status for Sunday appears to be in serious doubt. Nose tackle Shaun Cody (back) was a limited participant in practice after sitting out Wednesday for rest. Wide receiver Andre Johnson was a full participant after missing Wednesday's practice for a personal matter.