Injuries: Rob Gronkowski sits out Patriots practice

Rob Gronkowski was missing in action Thursday for the Patriots.

The star tight end didn't practice as he continues to heal from a perforated lung he suffered in Sunday night's nail-biter of a loss to the Seahawks.

Gronk is considered unlikely to play Sunday against the hapless 49ers.

The Patriots have a two-game lead in the AFC East and are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC, with a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Texans should New England lose this weekend and Houston beats the Raiders Monday night. They can afford to be take it easy with Gronk for at least one week.

Gronk missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury and only recorded one catch in his first two contests after returning. He's since re-emerged as the Patriots' reliable All-Pro, particularly due to Tom Brady's return to the team following a four-game suspension. Free-agent acquisition Martellus Bennett has performed admirably when Gronk has been unable to go.

Here are some other injuries we are tracking on Thursday:

1. Giants receiver Victor Cruz (ankle) was a full participant in practice.

2. Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree took first-team reps and is moving towards playing again sooner rather than later. The 2015 first-round pick is recovering from a core muscle tear that's kept him out all season thus far.

3. Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles had a knee scope on his other knee Monday, per Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder. It's the second scope Charles has undergone in the last few weeks. He's currently on injured reserve.

4. DeMarco Murray (foot) was a full participant in practice for the Titans.

5. Eagles wideout Jordan Matthews (back) was limited.

6. It's not injury news, but when Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain comes off suspension following Sunday's game, he'll remain on the reserve/did not report list, Rapoport reported, per a Cowboys source. Jerry Jones has indicated to reporters he won't play for them this year.

7. Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy (knee) was limited again in practice and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (ankle) and Theo Riddick (ankle) were also limited. Cornerback Darius Slay (hamstring) practiced fully.

8. Wide receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring), linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) were all limited in practice. Guard T.J. Lang (foot) didn't practice and linebacker Jake Ryan (ankle) didn't practice. Tight end Jared Cook (ankle) participated fully.

9. Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (hamstring) was upgraded from limited to full participant in practice, the team announced.

10. Dolphins center Mike Pouncey aggravated his hip injury and didn't practice, coach Adam Gase told reporters. It remains to be seen if he'll be available to play Sunday.

11. Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux (fibula) is listed as inactive for Thursday night's game against the Panthers.

12. Panthers offensive lineman Ryan Kalil (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury Thursday against the Saints.

Linebacker Luke Kuechly was carted off the field and is under evaluation for a concussion, the team announced.

13. Saints running back Mark Ingram went to the locker room and is being evaluated for a concussion after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter against the Panthers. He did not return.

14. Panthers cornerback Leonard Johnson did not return Thursday night due to a chest injury.

15. Defensive lineman Mario Addison, who had two sacks Thursday against the Saints, did not return after suffering a foot injury in the second half.