Nearly week since Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone back on Nov. 4, the Green Bay Packers and their fans have held out hope that their quarterback would return for the next game, those hopes mostly in vain.
Finally, just in time for the final game of the regular season, with the Packers' playoff dreams at stake in a de facto NFC North title game against the Chicago Bears, it appears as if Rodgers will be back.
Rodgers took the first snap of drills on Thursday, according to (but not limited to) Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, who indicated that those repetitions usually go to the starting quarterback.
On Tuesday, Rodgers himself said on his weekly radio show on ESPN Radio affiliates in Milwaukee and Madison that a decision would be made whether he'd play on Sunday, whether yea or nay.
Head coach Mike McCarthy also said on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier on Thursday that the team would make come to a conclusion after practice. Thursday was the first day of on-field preparations this week after the team took off Wednesday for the Christmas holiday.
McCarthy meets with the media in a press conference scheduled for 1:15 p.m. CT but how much information he chooses to divulge is up for speculation.
It's also worth noting that reporters are only allowed to watch individual drills at practice and are asked to leave before collective team drills begin.
Reporter Paul Imig of FoxSportsWisonsin.com indicated that Rodgers will start against the Bears on Twitter, according to an anonymous source, but the organization has yet to confirm such a report.
In other news coming out of Packers practice, injured players such as wide receiver Randall Cobb, linebackers Nick Perry and Mike Neal and cornerback Micah Hyde all took part.
Cobb has been on short-term injured reserve since reportedly breaking his leg in early October and has yet to be activated to the 53-man roster, although the Packers do have space after defensive lineman Johnny Jolly and tight end Brandon Bostick were placed on season-ending injured reserve last week.
Those who didn't take part in practice on Thursday include linebacker Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, running back Eddie Lacy and tight end Ryan Taylor.