Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who leads the team with 31 receptions and seven touchdowns, did not practice Thursday for the second straight day.
Gates was knocked out of last Sunday's loss to the Rams with a left toe injury. On Wednesday, Chargers coach Norv Turner said he was hopeful Gates could play, but that he was drawing up backup plans just in case.
Elsewhere for the Chargers, rookie running back Ryan Mathews (ankle) returned to practice, while receiver Buster Davis (ribs) did not practice after taking part in Wednesday's workout. Those were the team's only changes from Wednesday.
For the Patriots, receiver Julian Edelman (concussion) was limited in his participation while safety James Sanders (hamstring) participated fully for the second straight day.