is active for the Patriots
a week after being a healthy scratch. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
In the NFL’s constant war of attrition, injuries can decide games, seasons and a whole lot of futures. Here’s who will give it a shot, and who will not, as we head into Week 14 of the 2013 season:
• Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals (elbow): Palmer injured his elbow during Arizona's Week 13 loss to the Eagles, but the Cardinals planned all week on having him available Sunday. And he will be, in a must-win game for Arizona.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons (toe): Though the Falcons have long been out of the playoff race, Gonzalez continues to gut it out in what could be his final NFL season. He was listed as questionable all week with a toe injury, but he will play in wintry conditions at Lambeau Field.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots: After fumbling away his starting gig in Week 12 and being a healthy scratch in Week 13, Ridley will suit up Sunday vs. Cleveland. How much action he sees may depend on how Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount perform in front of him.
Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens (hip): Pitta will make his 2013 debut Sunday, after spending 13 weeks on Injured Reserve with a return designation. The third-year tight end finished last season with 61 catches and was expected to be one of Joe Flacco's top options in the passing attack. He's joining his mates just in time for a four-week playoff push.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (hamstring): Tampa Bay's top receiver took it rather slow in practice this week, but Greg Schiano maintained all along that Jackson would play Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (shoulder): No surprise here, but the Packers will be without their superstar quarterback for at least one more week due to a broke collarbone. Matt Flynn is expected to draw another start.
Rashad Jennings (concussion)/Darren McFadden (ankle), RBs, Oakland Raiders: Oakland will be down its top two running backs against the Jets, with Jennings ruled out after trying to give it a go in warmups. That's a tough blow for the Raiders, as Jennings has emerged in recent weeks as a legit threat -- he's averaging 4.7 yards on 126 carries this season. McFadden did not practice at all this week.
Darius Slay, CB, Detroit Lions (knee): A stroke of misfortune for Detroit's 2013 second-round pick. Slay turned in the best performance of his rookie season on Thanksgiving vs. the Packers, only to injure his knee in practice this week. His absence thins out a suspect secondary against red-hot Philadelphia QB Nick Foles.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (concussion):
Reed will miss his second straight game. Washington had hoped to have its dangerous tight end back in the lineup after he sat out last week's game with the Giants
, but Reed's head injury will prevent that.