FOXBOROUGH — For the second straight week, the Patriots appear to be in good health.
On the team’s final injury report of the week, defensive end Chandler Jones was upgraded to full practice. He was listed as having limited participation Wednesday and Thursday, and the Patriots listed Jones as probable for Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
By NFL rules, that means there’s a 75 percent chance Jones will play against the Ravens.
The rookie suffered a sprained ankle against Indianapolis in November and missed the next two games. In the second quarter of last Sunday’s game against Houston, Jones was twisted awkwardly playing goal-line defense, and he was visibly in pain. He reinjured the ankle, though he remained in uniform on the sideline for the second half of that game.
Jones is one of five players listed as probable, joining Danny Woodhead (thumb), Marquice Cole (finger), Trevor Scott (knee), and Nick McDonald (shoulder).
The Patriots had perfect attendance at Friday’s practice, which was held inside Gillette Stadium.
While the Patriots’ injury list has been decidedly shorter in recent weeks, the Ravens’ list is lengthy, with 21 players included.
Cornerback Asa Jackson (thigh) has been declared out, while linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (ankle/back), fullback Vonta Leach (knee/ankle), running back Bernard Pierce (knee), and receiver David Reed (thigh) are questionable.
Last Friday, Bill Belichick went to the podium before the Patriots faced the Texans and said he was quite pleased with the team’s preparation and seemed confident the result would be in his team’s favor.
Belichick wasn’t as ebullient this Friday, but he had an air of confidence as he discussed a few topics before heading to practice.
“It’s been a good week,” he said. “I think the players have done a good job this week. They’ve worked hard to get the scouting report and new information on the Ravens, practiced well.
“I think we’ve had good energy, I think the team is excited to play. If you can’t get excited for the AFC Championship game, I don’t know what you can get excited for. This is what we’ve worked all year for, this opportunity.”
Speaking after his team’s final practice of the week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was also happy with his team’s preparation.
“A team of this caliber in this kind of situation will get everybody’s attention. This game has had our full attention, and we are excited to go play Sunday,” Harbaugh said.
The amount of respect by both sides has been a constant, with Belichick reiterating Friday he believes Baltimore is a strong organization from top to bottom, starting with owner Steve Bisciotti and going right down to “the backup guard.”
“We’re looking forward to playing a great football team and going out there and knowing we need to play our best to beat them,” Belichick said. “But that’s the way it should be.”
Faulk, Light honored
Retired Patriots Kevin Faulk and Matt Light will serve as honorary team captains for Sunday’s game.
“As a fan, I have never seen anything but a win at Gillette Stadium,” Light said. “There is nobody that is going to be in this stadium that is going to be more fired up for this one than this guy right here.”
Hearing those words, Faulk raised his hand high, signaling he might be more fired up.
Both players said it is an honor to be recognized by the team.
Faulk was asked about being in the stands for the game.
“As a competitor you want to be out there because you just left the locker room and you’ve just been with all of these guys,” he said. “Last week, to see the excitement on Shane Vereen’s face after the game that he had, that’s what I miss. I miss seeing it and going into the locker room after a game like that.”
Seven-year-old Matiwos Rumley will join Faulk and Light as the third honorary captain. Rumley, who lives in Hebron, Conn., was the national Punt, Pass and Kick winner for his age group last weekend in Atlanta. Matiwos was adopted out of an Ethiopian orphanage last year by the Rumley family and had never picked up a football before he began practicing for his first PPK competition.