William Glasheen/USA Today

LB Joe Thomas Returns to Practice for Packers

Receiver Randall Cobb and cornerback Damarious Randall practiced, as well, on Thursday.

Inside linebacker Joe Thomas returned to practice for the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.

Thomas didn’t practice on Wednesday after dropping out of Sunday night’s win at Detroit because of his back. Since essentially moving into a full-time role at midseason, he’s become a key cog on the Packers’ defense. If healthy, his athleticism and coverage ability would be an asset against a Giants offense that throws the ball about 61 percent of the time and lacks a power running game.

Receiver Randall Cobb, who has missed the past two games with an injured ankle, and cornerback Damarious Randall, who dropped out of the Detroit game with a knee injury, took a lot of reps during the portion of practice that reporters were allowed to watch. Of the two, Randall appeared to be moving better, though plenty can change with three days until kickoff. Randall went from limited participation on Wednesday to full participation while Cobb was limited again.

“(Cobb) had a good day's work” on Wednesday, coach Mike McCarthy said before Thursday’s practice. “He's going to work again today and we'll keep evaluating him.”

Also back at practice was outside linebacker Julius Peppers, who has been held out to rest at the start of the workweek down the stretch.

Only running back James Starks and cornerback Quinten Rollins did not participate for the Packers, who started practice in the Don Hutson Center before venturing into the brutal cold. It was 1 degree at the start of practice with a wind-chill index of minus-17. It’s not supposed to be nearly that cold for Sunday, with a sunny sky and a predicted high of 16 and a low of 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. It was so cold that fullback Aaron Ripkowski continued to shiver while conducting an interview a half-hour after the end of practice.

For New York, star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul did not practice. He has missed the last four games with a core-muscle injury and might be out again.

Bryan Bulaga, T Abdomen Full Limited
Randall Cobb, WR Ankle Limited Limited
Jayrone Elliott, LB Hand Limited Limited
T.J. Lang, G Foot Limited Limited
Clay Matthews, LB Shoulder Full Full
Julius Peppers, LB Not Injury Related DNP Limited
Nick Perry, LB Hand Limited Limited
Damarious Randall, CB Knee Limited Full
Aaron Ripkowski, FB Hamstring Full Full
Quinten Rollins, CB Neck/Concussion DNP DNP
Jason Spriggs, T Shoulder Full Limited
James Starks, RB Concussion DNP DNP
Joe Thomas, LB Back DNP Limited
JC Tretter, C/G Knee Full Full
Jerell Adams, TE Shoulder Limited Limited
Nat Berhe, S Concussion Limited Limited
Bobby Hart, T Forearm Full full
Janoris Jenkins, CB Back Limited Limited
Owa Odighizuwa, DE Hamstring Limited Limited
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE Core Muscle DNP DNP
Coty Sensabaugh, CB Ankle Limited Limited

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.

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