Updated: December 30, 2013 12:09PM
Running back Matt Forte, recovering from a hyperextended knee he suffered against the Rams last week, did not practice Wednesday but is expected to play Sunday against the Vikings.
‘‘I’m optimistic. I feel pretty good that he’ll start [practicing Thursday],” coach Marc Trestman said. “We’ll see where he’s at, but I’m optimistic about that.’’
Though he anticipates Forte playing against the Vikings, Trestman said Michael Bush and rookie Michael Ford ‘‘would be working in tandem at the running back position’’ if Forte cannot play.
Bush has gained 69 yards on 42 carries this season (1.6 yards per carry) with two touchdowns. Ford has played in seven games, strictly on special teams.
Defensive tackles Stephen Paea (sprained toe) and Jeremiah Ratliff (groin) practiced on a limited basis. Ratliff, who was signed Nov. 6 after being waived by the Cowboys, is not expected to play. Paea, who did not play against the Rams, will be evaluated later in the week.
Safety Anthony Walters (groin) and cornerback Derrick Martin (hamstring) did not practice.
Trestman, who grew up a Vikings fan in suburban Minneapolis, will be coaching in his hometown as an NFL head coach for the first time. But he said he doesn’t have time to celebrate the moment.
‘‘I appreciate of the opportunity to go back there [as] a head coach,’’ he said. ‘‘But you’re so locked in to your day-to-day preparations, it really doesn’t matter where that 100-yard field is.
‘‘The team you’re playing really isn’t significant. We understand it’s a divisional game. We know it’s on the road and the stadium’s five minutes from where I grew up and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do that. But the emotions — the focus doesn’t get away from doing the job that has to be done on my end.’’