Insider Only Three defensive starters sit out Monday’s practice

Kirschke out for at least another week?

Strong safety Troy Polamalu, inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons and defensive end Travis Kirtschke didn’t practice Monday.
Two of them, however, say they’ll play against the Broncos.
“(The bye) was very beneficial … it feels much better,” said Polamalu, who did play in the Oct. 25 win over the Minnesota Vikings after missing the previous four games with a sprained knee.
Timmons is recovering from an ankle sprained suffered in the Minnesota game and could be back at practice by Wednesday or Thursday.
On his blog (web site, Timmons said he expects to play.
“It’s a Grade 1 sprain, not a big deal, and it’s the other ankle from the one I hurt earlier in the season,” he said. “I should come back faster than I did from that high ankle sprain. I should be able to make it back for the Denver game.”
Meanwhile, Kirschke is recovering from a calf injury suffered in the Minnesota game. He started the last two games after Aaron Smith was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list with a shoulder injury.
“Both of those guys are questionable at this point,” Tomlin said of Timmons and Kirschke. “There is a little more optimism in regard to Lawrence than Travis at this point but we’ll let it play out as we always do.”
If Kirschke can’t play, his spot in the lineup will be taken by Nick Eason.

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Mike Bires

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