But a quarterback showdown between Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre appears to be over before it started, with Favre likely leaving Lambeau Field for the last time before practice. The players, weary of the controversy, are ready to move on.
Standing just feet from Favre's (former?) locker was Rodgers.
"I just know we were out at practice today, and he wasn't there, and I'm the starter," Rodgers said. "So, that's where we're going right now."
Cornerback Al Harris lent the perspective of a friend and a teammate.
"However it works out, I hope he's happy. However it works out, I hope A-Rod is happy," Harris said. "I just hope that whatever decision they make, they make the best decision to help us get to the Super Bowl."
Fellow cornerback Charles Woodson was surprised that it's boiled down to this.
"We never felt like it would get to this point with talks of him actually being traded," he said. "I felt once he ever stepped back here in Green Bay, he would be the quarterback. But him not being here today, I guess management has a different route."
A resolution will be welcome.
"Absolutely. Get it done as soon as possible so we can get back to talking about the Green Bay Packers as a whole and not just one player," Woodson said.
Gone but not forgotten
No doubt because of the possibility Favre would be at practice, perhaps the biggest crowd of training camp turned out for the day's lone workout.
As has been the case throughout camp, a contingent of pro-Favre protesters turned out. They were more vocal this time, though their chants of "Bring Brett back!" never drew more than a few dozen fans and never spread beyond the Resch Center side of the practice field.
"We won't have to do crowd noise this week," McCarthy said. "It was like working on the road. It's fine. Once again, I think emotion is good. I prefer positive or not positive. But they care. That's one thing you can always say about fans."
Rodgers was heckled by the pro-Favre crowd after each of his three interceptions at practice.
"We've got great fans," said Rodgers when asked about the chanting and boos. "I just hope I can win them over."
The people's vote
According to a survey by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, 60 percent of Wisconsin residents think McCarthy and Thompson are more concerned about the Packers' long-term future compared to 16 percent for Favre.
Favre is viewed in a favorable by light by 47 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 34 percent. In December, 73 percent of state residents held a favorable view of Favre. Just 31 percent of Green Bay respondents viewed Favre favorably, compared to 82 percent in December.
Oh, they practiced today
— Absent: receiver Jake Allen (groin), tight end Tory Humphrey, defensive tackles Justin Harrell (back), Ryan Pickett (hamstring), Johnny Jolly, defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee) and center Scott Wells (trunk).
"I like to practice, personally, but we're taking it one day at a time," said Gbaja-Biamila, who had offseason knee surgery. "This is the kind of situation where you listen to your body. If you don't, you'll probably make things worse. We're just being smart. It's the first week of training camp, so we're doing good on time."
Humphrey and Jolly were additions to the injured list. Since McCarthy spent his news conference addressing the Favre issue, it's not known what held that duo out.
— Rookie tight end Jermichael Finley was flagged for a false start early in practice and immediately replaced by undrafted Joey Haynos. Interestingly, Haynos took several reps with the first team when it was running two tight-end sets.
— Another day, another scuffle, although this one was broken up quickly, unlike Saturday's fracas.
— Jones got a step on Harris and made a nifty one-handed catch on a deep ball by Rodgers. Moments later, Rodgers threw the ball to an open Ruvell Martin down the seam, but Martin wasn't looking and the ball hit him in the hip.
— Desmond Bishop ended practice with an interception of Rodgers. Woodson picked Rodgers off twice.
"The offense didn't practice very well today. The defense had a heck of a day," McCarthy said.
Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at email@example.com