"In my mind, I am still hoping that Teddy can go," Rhule told reporters, via Steve Reed of The Associated Press.
Bridgewater has been a limited participant in practice since spraining his MCL in Week 10. Carolina has listed him as questionable, though a report Thursday called the 28-year-old unlikely to start against the Lions.
"I truly feel it will be a game-time decision," Rhule said, according to The Athletic's Joe Person.
In 10 games this season, Bridgewater has thrown for 2,552 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions while averaging a career-high 7.7 yards per pass attempt.
The Panthers will face Detroit without All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who will miss his second straight contest with a shoulder issue.