KC Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, running back Ronald Jones not practicing Thursday

Charlie Riedel/AP

The Chiefs practiced Thursday without two players ahead of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Chiefs announced that kicker Harrison Butker (left-ankle sprain) and running back Ronald Jones (illness) would not practice. It’s been an up-and down couple of weeks for Butker as he attempts to return to competition in the wake of the injury he incurred in the Chiefs’ season opener at Arizona.

“He’s a little sore today, so we’re not going to kick him today,” Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub said.

Butker put in a limited practice Wednesday, alternating repetitions with newly practice squad kicker Matthew Wright. Wright replaced Matt Ammendola, who missed a field goal and extra point during last weekend’s loss at the Indianapolis Colts.

The Chiefs are erring on the side of caution with Butker, who hasn’t played since Week 1. His eventual return to a full practice could represent a positive sign in his recovery, perhaps even signaling he could play in Sunday night’s matchup in Tampa against the Bucs.

So far, however, that has not happened.

“We’re trying to get him ready for the game,” Toub said. “We’re just going to listen to the trainers and whatever they say, we’re going to do it.

“It’s going to come down right to the end to when we have to make that decision on who’s going to be up and down.“

If Butker can’t play Sunday, the Chiefs will turn to Wright.

While Butker and Jones were unable to practice Thursday, the Chiefs expected to have wide receiver Mecole Hardman (heel), defensive end Mike Danna (calf) and defensive tackle Chris Jones (not injury-related) back on the field in some capacity.

The Chiefs held Hardman out of practice Wednesday, while Jones wasn’t observed on the practice field. Danna, meanwhile, appeared set to practice for the first time since hurting his calf in Week 2. He didn’t play last weekend in Indianapolis.

The Chiefs released their daily injury report later Thursday afternoon, and Danna and Hardman were designated as limited participants. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) and right tackle Andrew Wylie (hip) practiced fully for a second straight day.

Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (abdomen) did not practice a day after being limited in Wednesday’s session. Valdes-Scantling was observed without his helmet standing off to the side during the portion of practice that was open to the media Thursday.