Coming off their second Thursday night game of the season, the Detroit Lions practiced on Tuesday and gave the players the day off on Wednesday. Thus, the first required injury report of the week was a short week-esque "estimation", with a couple notable absences.
Brian Branch suffered a right ankle injury against the Packers in Week 4, but he was not out long before getting his ankle taped and coming back into the game. Last Friday head coach Dan Campbell said the injury was not considered too serious, but the Lions' stud rookie defensive back missed practice again on Thursday.
Amon-Ra St. Brown suffered a non-turf toe toe injury back in Week 2, which he has presumably still be dealing with to some degree. With his listing on Wednesday as a non-participant in practice came a new injury, and abdomen issue, and as with Branch he missed practice again on Thursday.
Detroit Lions injury report: Will Amon-Ra St. Brown and Brian Branch both miss Week 5 against the Panthers?
A missed practice on a Wednesday is not necessarily a huge deal, depending on the situation (the player, the injury, etc.). In regard to the Lions, see center Frank Ragnow's practice schedule as he navigates an ongoing toe issue. He is a regular non-participant at least once a week, and he's in no significant danger of missing games.
But being completely off the practice field on a Thursday can be real cause for concern. However, it has been noted by reporters that St. Brown has been working out on the side with a trainer. He, more so than the rookie Branch right now, has the built up equity with the coaching staff to play without practicing all week.
As aptly described by Kyle Meinke of MLive, Branch "hasn’t so much as been seen since injuring his ankle a week ago in Green Bay."
Safety Kerby Joseph (hip) seems to be trending toward playing against the Panthers after missing the last two games, so his return would help cover for Branch possibly being out. If St. Brown were out against the Panthers, Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond, or even Jameson Williams, would be in line for larger roles.
Update: After practice on Thursday, St. Brown said his injury is mostly about pain management, and it's his goal to play on Sunday,
Friday's injury report will be the official declaration for the game statuses of St. Brown and Branch, good, bad or iffy. It's look very iffy in both cases right now.