Gerald Sensabaugh, Fiammetta sit out

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys could be missing four starters for Thursday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

Fullback Tony Fiammetta, wide receiver Miles Austin, cornerback Mike Jenkins and free safety Gerald Sensabaugh did not practice Tuesday. Austin and Jenkins were not expected to return from hamstring injuries this week. The absences of Fiammetta (illness) and Sensabaugh (foot) from the Cowboys' only full practice this week are strong indications that they will not be available for the Thanksgiving Day game.

The Cowboys' medical staff is still trying to determine the origin of Fiammetta's illness. Fiammetta, whose lead blocking has been a key to the Cowboys' running game, started feeling nauseous when exercising last week and did not travel with the team for Sunday's overtime win against the Washington Redskins.

"He's been sick the last week or so, so we are just kind of attending to those symptoms as much as anything else," coach Jason Garrett said Monday evening. "We are hopeful he can be around as soon as possible, but we will continue to test him to see how he's doing to get him back to full strength.

"It's a short week, so it will be interesting to see if he can progress enough to play in this ballgame."

Sensabaugh finished the game against the Redskins after spraining his right foot. He continued to wear a protective boot Tuesday after saying he'd only need it for one day.

His status for Thursday's game remains uncertain.

"That's what I'm aiming for," Sensabaugh said.

Meanwhile, Barry Church practiced with the first team and could make his first career start.

"I feel very ready," Church said. "I have the game plan down pat. The other guys on defense have confidence in me that I can do the job."

Austin has missed the past two games because of his strained hamstring. Jenkins has missed the past three games.

Backup quarterback Jon Kitna also did not practice. He is expected to miss his second consecutive game due to a sore back.

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.