Both Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks missed practice for a second straight day on Thursday, but Head Coach Mike Zimmer expressed optimism regarding their chances to play on Sunday in Oakland against the Raiders.
"They should be good," Zimmer said. "We're just being careful with them."
Barr injured his left hand during last Sunday's win over St. Louis. He missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday last week due to a back injury, before fully participating in Friday's practice. He played Sunday recording six tackles and defending one pass in the win.
Kendricks, the NFL's Rookie of the Month for October, injured his ribs during the Nov. 1 win over Chicago. He missed his first career game last Sunday vs. St. Louis.
Candidates to fill in for Barr and/or Kendricks if either are unable to play on Sunday in Oakland, include rookie Edmond Robinson, Brandon Watts, who was recently signed off the practice squad, and veteran Jason Trusnik. Trusnik was signed as a free agent this week when the club placed Audie Cole on injured reserve due to an ankle injury that happened last in the win victory over the Rams.
Teddy Bridgewater took part in practice for the second day in a row, while going through the NFL's concussion protocol after the late hit which knocked him out of Sunday's win over St. Louis early in the fourth quarter. Zimmer said he's on track to start on Sunday as he was a full participant in Thursday's practice.