The former Chelsea player, who spent a year at Lille on loan last season, has yet to revive his Anfield career after picking up a collection of injuries at the start of the campaign.
"It's been difficult for Joe," Rodgers told the club's official website. "He worked hard throughout pre-season.
"Then he got injured and others have come in and done well, so I'm not going to throw them to the garbage because a senior player is back and available again. It's an opportunity for Joe to come in and prove himself."
Cole could feature for the Reds tonight as they prepare to take on Swansea City in the fourth round of the League Cup.