Sounding a cautious tone three days before a potential matchup with Randy Moss, Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib said Thursday that he's doing his best to be ready to play against the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday night at Gillette Stadium after suffering a hip injury late in the first half of Monday's win over the Texans.

"Just [a] day-to-day injury," Talib told reporters after practice Thursday. "[Just] working hard three times a day trying to get healthy."

Rob Gronkowski was the only member of the Patriots not on the field at the start of Thursday's practice session, according to reports. The tight end, who also did not participate in Wednesday's walk-through, is battling hip and forearm issues. Notables who were back on the field include defensive lineman Kyle Love. In addition, cornerbacks Kyle Arrington, Alfonzo Dennard and Aqib Talib have been banged up lately, but were all on the field at the start of practice Thursday.

The Randy Moss who will face the Patriots Sunday night at Gillette Stadium isn’t the same guy who left New England two-plus years ago.



FOXBORO -- Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring) were among the additions to the injury report released by the Patriots Wednesday. Both Talib and Dennard were listed as limited while Rob Gronkowski was not at the team's light walk-through inside Dana-Farber Field House despite reports that he intended to make an effort to practice this week and be ready to play Sunday night against the 49ers at Gillette Stadium. 

Defensive lineman Kyle Love was not at practice due to the birth of his child. 

Here is Wednesday's complete report:

FOXBORO -- Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib was present for Wednesday's walk-through practice inside the Dana-Farber Field House while Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was not. 

There were reports Wednesday that Gronkowski was intent on attending practice this week, with the hope of playing Sunday night against the 49ers, just four weeks after breaking his left forearm blocking on an extra point. 

The Patriots meet the Niners Sunday night at Gillette Stadium in a game between two of the league’s elite teams. New England comes into the contest at 10-3, and with an eye on securing one of the top two seeds in the AFC playoff picture.



FOXBORO -- After a report surfaced Wednesday that Rob Gronkowski could return in time to play against the 49ers Sunday night at Gillette, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about the progress the star tight end is making from his broken forearm. 

"It's day-to-day. Hopefully today is better than yesterday and hopefully tomorrow will be better than today."

Referee Ed Hochuli -- he of the massive biceps and knack for overexplanation -- will be the lead official for the Patriots-Niners game Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, according to FootballZebras.com. Hochuli, who has worked an an NFL official since 1990, has served as the lead referee for two Super Bowls. This marks his first Patriots' game since 2010, when he served as the lead official in a New England win over Green Bay at Gillette Stadium.

FOXBORO -- With a season-ending ankle injury to Donte' Stallworth on his 63-yard TD Monday night, the Patriots ended speculation Wednesday by officially re-signing receiver Deion Branch. In addition, the Patriots signed rookie receiver Tony Logan to the practice squad.

FOXBORO -- In a fitting award on 12/12/12, Tom Brady has been named AFC offensive player of the week by the NFL for his performance in the Patriots’ 42-14 victory over the Texans last Monday night. It is the 23rd time in his career that Brady has received the AFC offensive player of the week honor, breaking a tie with Denver’s Peyton Manning for the most Player of the Week awards earned by a player since the accolade was instituted in 1984.