Nick Fairley didn’t want to talk about his sore right shoulder as he made his way through the locker room Thursday.

“What’s that?” the defensive tackle said playing oblivious to the body part and the ailment that has kept him out of two straight practices.

Fairley was one of Lions starters who missed practice Thursday joining linebacker Ashlee Palmer (ankle) and right tackle Jason Fox (groin) on the bench. Don Carey also did not practice because of a pulled hamstring.

Fox is not expected to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals Palmer appeared on the injury report for the first time but Fairley’s injury is one to watch over the next four months.

He left in the third quarter of last week’s win over the Minnesota Vikings clutching his right shoulder but returned and finished with five tackles and 1½ sacks.

Last year Fairley finished the season on injured reserve after suffering a separated shoulder in a December loss to the Green Bay Packers but the Lions decided against corrective surgery at the time.

He also had questions about the stability of his shoulder entering the 2011 draft.

Coach Jim Schwartz declined to say if the injuries are related.

“I’m just not going to comment on injuries” Schwartz said. “He was able to finish the game. We didn’t get him on the practice field yesterday but he’s improving and we’ll see where it is.”

If Fairley can’t play Sunday C.J. Mosley will start alongside Ndamukong Suh at tackle and Justin Bannan will be the top backup. Defensive ends Jason Jones and Israel Idonije also can play inside on passing downs.

Schwartz said the Lions will continue to give some nicked-up players Fridays off from practice as a pre-emptive measure this year.