Hillis has missed two games in a row because of a hamstring injury that also kept him out of practice on Wednesday.
He said he was "a little hesitant" during Thursday's practice as he tries to take it slow in getting ready to play the Texans.
"I'm on pace to be healthy and to play Sunday, so that's what I'm looking forward to," said Hillis, who was feeling better than he did a week ago leading up to Sunday's game against the 49ers.
The Browns lost the game, 20-10, and also lost running back Montario Hardesty in the first quarter because of a torn calf muscle. Hardesty has not practiced and Cleveland signed free agent Thomas Clayton on Tuesday for some extra depth at the position.
Hillis, after breaking out for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, has just 211 yards and two TDs on 60 carries this year while dealing with several off-field controversies.
His status for the Texans game is anything but certain. Hillis was asked: If today was Sunday, would you be able to play?
"Yeah," he responded, before adding: "I'm glad it's not Sunday."