Chinn has practiced twice since being designated to return from injured reserve last week. He missed six weeks with a hamstring strain suffered against the Cardinals in Week 4.
"I'm hoping. It's still a work in progress right now," Wilks said. "I thought he did some good things today with limited reps. We've still got to see how he recovers each and every day from the standpoint of the soreness and does he have any kind of relapse."
The Panthers could definitely use him, as the two safeties who started in his absence (Juston Burris and Myles Hartsfield) were out of practice Wednesday. Coupled with the season-ending Achilles tear suffered by cornerback Donte Jackson last week, they're running short in the secondary.
Chinn said he felt "great" after practice but quickly added: "Everything else is above me."
Wilks alluded to the possibility of using practice squad cornerback T.J. Carrie, who was just signed yesterday to help cover some of the gaps.
"Smart player," Wilks said of Carrie, whom he coached in Cleveland in 2019. "Can play inside as well as outside. Feel like he can pick things up quickly if we need him this week."
— With PJ Walker out with a high ankle sprain, Sam Darnold is closer to getting back on the field. He'll back up quarterback Baker Mayfield this week, and said he finally feels confident enough in his ankle after an extended absence from his own high ankle sprain in the preseason.
"I feel really good right now. Obviously still have to do the right things to make sure it stays healthy, but feel really good right now," Darnold said. "I ran around a little bit on Thursday night before the game. Felt really good then. I think that was when I was like, OK, I should be good by this next week. Sure enough, today, it felt really good."
Wilks said he'd like to get Darnold "some opportunities" since he hasn't played in a regular-season game since January.
"Well, I think it's just trying to pick and choose the flow of the game," Wilks said. "Something that I mentioned to those guys the other day with Baker, if it happens, just giving him warning that I'm not pulling you. I just want to be able to get Sam some opportunities. Because the first time that he goes in there (potentially to start), I don't want it to be the first time. I want to be able to get him acclimated a little bit to the speed of the game."
But Wilks also made it clear his main focus was on the result.
"I'm interested in winning the game," he said. "Whatever it takes to win the game. It's not pay $250, and you get to play. We'll see exactly how it goes this week."
— Wilks has a unique perspective on this week's quarterback depth charts.
When he was the coach of the Cardinals in 2018, they were in the market for a quarterback in the draft.
They watched Mayfield go first overall to the Browns, Darnold third overall to the Jets, and then Josh Allen seventh to the Bills. They eventually chose Josh Rosen with the 10th pick, and the Ravens took Lamar Jackson 32nd.
Wilks isn't big into comparisons ever, and laughed when asked where he had Jackson stacked among those players.
"I can't even recall where we had him ranked," Wilks said. "If I did, I probably wouldn't tell you."
View photos from Wednesday's practice as the Panthers get ready to travel to Baltimore in Week 11.