Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis had his first pain-free practice session in quite some time Thursday, and fully expects to play on Sunday against the Houston Texans. Hillis has been battling a hamstring injury the last couple weeks, but has struggled the entire season with a mix of injuries, contract issues, and huge expectations following his breakout 2010 performance.
The Browns face a fairly bad Houston Texans rush defense and this could provide Hillis with an opportunity to get back on the fantasy radar. He was limited in practice on Thursday but proclaimed himself pain-free. Assuming no setbacks, Hillis will likely get the bulk of the carries on Sunday.
Given the Texans rush defense, Hillis is a worthwhile start if you did not already unload him in a sell low trade. It remains to be seen if Hillis will ever approach what he did last season, but for now he is worth sticking back in your lineup. If he struggles again this week, he could quickly become a matchup-only running back.
If he does struggle on Sunday, it will be interesting to see how many carries Chris Ogbonnaya gets against Houston. We'll be back with a final injury report update later in the day, so check back to see if there has been any change in Hillis' status for the weekend.