USA TODAY Sports
It's all systems go for the AFC Championship as the Patriots boast a (mostly) healthy roster.
Two key cogs for the Patriots on each side of the ball have officially been upgraded to 'probable' as per the Patriots' Friday injury report. According to the league's classification on injury reports, a 'probable' designation carries a 75% certainty that the player will be active in the upcoming game.
For the defense, DE Chandler Jones has been battling an on-again, off-again ankle injury that has sidelined him twice in the second half of the season. The promising rookie has fallen back to Earth after registering six sacks and three forced fumbles earlier in the year, but if the Patriots are to have any success against rushing a surprisingly stout Ravens offensive line, it begins up front with Jones. The Patriots failed to record a single sack or hit against Joe Flacco in Week 3.
One of the most underlooked aspects of Jones' value to the Patriots is in run defense, where he has shown the range and flashed the ability to shed blocks and meet the running back at the line of scrimmage. Discovering a way to limit the damage of one Ray Rice will be critical to the Patriots' success after Rice ran for 130 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries against the Denver Broncos last week.
On offense, RB Danny Woodhead looks set to rejoin the team after leaving last week's divisional matchup in the first quarter while recording just one carry. Woodhead injured his thumb and did not return. Woodhead brings a trademark versatility to an offense that has been relying on him more in recent weeks in the wake of TE Rob Gronkowski's fractured arm. RB Shane Vereen shined in Woodhead's absence, but the Patriots have to be ecstatic with their backfield's de facto veteran presence seemingly dodging a bullet and poised to return.