The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens are set to square off on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough with a spot in the AFC Championship game on the line. Injuries are often a key factor entering a game, but both teams are expected to field a generally fit squad.
The majority of the Patriots roster enters the matchup rested and in good health. According to the team’s official site, every member of the Patriots was at least a limited participant in practice Wednesday, with wide receivers Julian Edelman (concussion) and Brandon LaFell (shoulder/toe) and running backs LeGarrette Blount (illness) and Jonas Gray (ankle) all making an appearance.
Bill Belichick has been without linebacker Jerod Mayo and running back Stevan Ridley since Week 7. Mayo had been the team’s leading tackler, and Ridley was the leading rusher prior to their injuries against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 12.
Baltimore will also field a relatively fit roster. Neither tight end Owen Daniels nor linebacker Daryl Smith practiced Wednesday, but their participation was not injury related. Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (ankle) was a limited participant after sitting out against the Steelers last week.
John Harbaugh’s squad has dealt with a seriously depleted secondary in 2014. The Ravens have placed several cornerbacks on injured reserve in the regular season, including their best cover man Jimmy Smith, who suffered a foot injury and will be out for about four more months. Cornerback Asa Jackson, who started six games, was also lost for the season after sustaining a knee injury on Dec. 14.
The Ravens enter the game after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field 30-17 on Saturday. The Patriots have the benefit of an extra week of rest since they clinched the best record in the AFC. The most recent Las Vegas betting odds have the Patriots favored by seven points, with a 47.5 over/under. The Ravens were three-point underdogs by most sportsbooks on Wild Card weekend.