Bigby was upgraded to limited participation on Thursday's injury report. While Collins and Peprah took the first-team reps while reporters were allowed to watch, Bigby did more than just watch. He frequently tested his injured hamstring while shadowing the play.
Told it looked like he had a little more spring in his step, Bigby said: "Glad you think so."
"I'm trying my best to be able to get back out there," he continued. "It's tough being there on the sideline and watching those guys go out there and play."
Coach Mike McCarthy hoped Bigby would be ready for a full practice on Thursday. While that didn't happen, he's encouraged by Bigby's progress.
"Well, he went some today, and he went through his rehab improved, as far as the intensity of it and preliminary testing," McCarthy said. "Hopefully, he responds to that."
The news isn't as good for Aaron Rouse, who has filled Bigby's spot since Bigby was injured at Detroit in Week 2. McCarthy said Rouse's injured knee isn't coming along as quickly as the team hoped.
So, that means Peprah is in line for his first professional start.
"You go back to training camp, Charlie was right in the thick of it," McCarthy said, recalling the third-year pro from Alabama's physical play. "Charlie Peprah was someone we felt was pushing the other guys in training camp and had the pretty significant hamstring injury, missed a lot of time. It's good to have him back. He's been a solid performer for us on special teams, and this is an excellent opportunity for him if he does get the start. We have confidence in Charlie."
Peprah, who played in all 16 games last season, missed all of training camp and the first two games of this season. The rust showed, especially during his season debut against Dallas.
"You've got to be ready to step in whenever they call your name," he said.
As expected, quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't throw at practice because of a sprained right (throwing) shoulder. In fact, with the practice geared toward getting rookie Matt Flynn ready in case he needs to start, Rodgers didn't take a single snap.
Rodgers took part in stretching while wearing a gray sweatshirt instead of the usual red No. 12 jersey, then followed the script while Flynn and Brian Brohm directed the offense. After the jog-through session to start practice, Rodgers left for rehab.
"I didn't even give Aaron any reps in the jog-through because of that," McCarthy said. "I wanted to make sure that Matt felt very comfortable, and actually practiced very well. He did a nice job in the two-minute. We scored down there with a couple seconds left."
Flynn was pleased with his performance.
"I felt good about it," he said. "The more time I get some reps and the run the offense, the more comfortable I'll get. I'm ready to go if something happens."
Rodgers will be tested by team doctors on Friday morning to determine his availability for practice. Even if he doesn't practice, McCarthy won't rule him out for the game.
"We'll see where Aaron is (Friday)," McCarthy said. "But once again, even after (Friday's) practice, you still have another 48 hours before kickoff, so we do have some time."
Packers injury report
Out — Cornerback Al Harris (spleen).
Full participation — Safety Nick Collins (back); receiver James Jones (knee).
Changes: Bigby to limited from did not participate; Collins to full from limited; Rodgers and Rouse from limited to did not participate.
Falcons injury report
Changes: Baker and Milloy to limited from did not participate.
A few noteworthy things from the hour or so reporters were allowed to watch:
— Defensive tackle Justin Harrell, on the physically unable to perform list after back surgery, ran on the side while wearing shoulder pads. In previous practices, he ran only with a jersey and shorts.
— After lining up at linebacker during the jog-through part of practice, A.J. Hawk spent the practice riding an elliptical bike. Brandon Chillar filled Hawk's spot.
— Newcomer Kenny Pettway and rookie defensive end Jeremy Thompson, who hasn't been on the active roster all season, were part of the No. 1 kickoff and kickoff-return units.
— Practice-squad cornerback Joe Porter's helmet was knocked off during a kickoff drill.
— Breaking from the norm, the players wore pads for a second consecutive day. That includes left tackle Chad Clifton, who generally wears only a jersey and shorts.
Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org