Bledsoe's inclusion in the game comes as the top-seeded Patriots are dealing with the uncertain status of Tom Brady due to a hand injury. The two quarterbacks have been linked since Bledsoe was injured after a hit along the sideline in a game against the New York Jets on Sept. 23, 2001.
That injury paved the way for Brady, who has helped the team win five Super Bowl titles.
For his part, Bledsoe guided the Patriots to a 20-6 win over the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 12, 1997.
"Drew Bledsoe played such an integral role in our efforts to rebuild the Patriots," Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said. "He gave fans hope for the future by providing many memorable moments during his record-breaking career.
"For a franchise that had only hosted one playoff game in its first 35 years, winning the AFC Championship Game at home in Foxboro and taking the Patriots to the playoffs for three consecutive years were unimaginable goals prior to his arrival."
Bledsoe will be part of the pregame festivities and accompany the team captains at midfield for the coin toss as New England plays in its 14th AFC Championship Game on Sunday (3:05 p.m. ET).