Starting fullback Korey Hall, who hasn't played since spraining a knee in the first quarter of the Week 2 game at Detroit, was a full participant at practice on Thursday. So was rookie running back Kregg Lumpkin, who hasn't played since injuring a hamstring in Week 3 against Dallas. Ditto for safety Aaron Rouse, who was out last week with a knee injury. With starter Atari Bigby likely out again, Rouse is in position to start on Sunday.
Even cornerback Charles Woodson, who hasn't practiced since breaking a toe in Week 1 against Minnesota — and barely has attended practice during that time — was a limited participant on Thursday.
"He's progressed with his medical situation," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Woodson. "He's not in the boot anymore, so it's good to have him down there at the jog-throughs. It just wasn't in his best interest in prior weeks for him to be standing that long with the boot on his foot."
While John Kuhn has done fine in Hall's absence, having Hall in the lineup allows McCarthy to use the two-fullback sets he likes to employ and will help on special teams, too. Hall was a limited participant at practice on Wednesday and didn't feel the aftereffects on Thursday.
"Whenever you come back from an injury, it's all about battling through it," Hall said, noting his focus is on fundamentals until he knocks off the rust. "I don't know if you'll ever come back and feel like you did before you got hurt, but I'm coming along pretty good."
Having Hall back in the lineup should help a running game that has showed signs of life the last couple games. McCarthy said "we'll see" when asked if Hall would start. Hall, though, said he felt pretty good and wants to help the Packers get back on course after a three-game losing streak.
"It's tough losing football games, and it's even tougher when you're on the sideline watching," Hall said. "Hopefully this week, we've had a couple good days of practice and we'll get back on track."
Lumpkin said he's not 100 percent healthy, but having him at anywhere close to full speed would provide a lift on third down, where backup running back Brandon Jackson has been ineffective as a receiver and suspect as a blocker.
Not all the news was good. Bigby tested his hamstring on Wednesday, and McCarthy said it "didn't go as well" as he had hoped.
While his teammates worked out in pads, left tackle Chad Clifton took the jog-through reps in a jersey and shorts, then departed to rehab the hamstring he injured against Atlanta, which played a role in his subpar performance. McCarthy wasn't sure if Clifton would practice on Friday, and a pregame workout on Sunday may determine his availability.
Receiver James Jones spent most of Thursday on the look-team defense after aggravating his injured knee last week.
Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at email@example.com