Defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) missed practice for a third consecutive day, but both remained optimistic about their availability for Sunday's hosting of Detroit.
"I have a great shot," Woodley said. "Two days left. I have until 11:30 (a.m.) on Sunday (when inactive players are announced). I'm the only one who really knows how my calf is feeling, if I'm able to go, if I'm going to be out there helping the team or hurting the team. It's definitely going to be my decision if I can go or not.
"Got plenty of time to test it. My biggest test is going to be Sunday morning. We'll see then."
Keisel said his availability would also be a "game-time decision.
"I think I'm gonna go," he added. "It gets better every day, so Sunday it should feel good."
Left guard Ramon Foster (ankle) also missed practice for a third consecutive day.
"I've been playing left guard all week at practice, just getting prepared to play," veteran backup offensive lineman Guy Whimper said. "I prepare every week like I'm up."
The Steelers host the Lions at 3-6 after last Sunday's 23-10 victory over Buffalo. Detroit is 6-3 and coming off of a 21-19 win at Chicago.
"It means a lot because our season is on the line in every game we play now because of the situation we put ourselves in," Woodley said. "All these games are very important. All of them mean a lot because I'm trying to play football in January.
"We gotta keep stacking wins, stacking them, stacking them, stacking them. There's no room for error now. We gave up all our room for error early on."
Added Keisel: "It's a big one against a very good team. The second half (of the season) started right. We want to keep that momentum going."
SUNDAY'S OFFICIAL STATUS REPORT:
Out: S Shamarko Thomas (ankle).
Doubtful: OLB LaMarr Woodley (calf).
Questionable: DE Brett Keisel (foot); G Ramon Foster (ankle).
Probable: T Kelvin Beachum (hip); G David DeCastro (ankle); T Marcus Gilbert (ankle); TE Heath Miller (not injury related); T Mike Adams (ribs); C Fernando Velasco (knee).