GREEN BAY – Randall Cobb wouldn't go so far as to say he expects to play on Sunday, but getting on the practice field Wednesday was the best sign in a while that a return is realistic.
"I hope to," Cobb said of playing in the home playoff game vs. the Giants on Sunday. "I expected to play last week, but that didn't happen, so we'll see."
Cobb has missed the last two games with an ankle injury he originally sustained against Seattle back on Dec. 11. He came back to finish that game and then tried to play through the injury the following week in Chicago but wasn't himself.
After sitting out the Minnesota game on Dec. 24, Cobb then didn't practice all last week with the idea that maximum rest and recovery would get him ready for Detroit, but he remained inactive on game night.
"Very difficult, very frustrating, but that's the way it went," Cobb said. "It's part of this game, but I'm excited to get back on the field."
Listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, Cobb said his ankle felt "good," another positive sign.
In his absence, undrafted rookie Geronimo Allison has filled in admirably, catching a combined eight passes for 157 yards and a TD over the last two games.
His emergence has not surprised Cobb, nor any of the other receivers who have worked with Allison on a daily basis, going back to training camp and his initial days in the regular season on the practice squad.
"Whenever he first got here, he set himself apart," Cobb said. "Coming in as a rookie, he was really smart. He picked up on things really quickly. His physical ability, it's starting to show. He's had opportunities and he's stepped up to the plate making plays."
If Cobb's return makes for a more crowded receiving corps come Sunday, so be it. As much as he's building trust in the new option, quarterback Aaron Rodgers would love to have one of his old mainstays back in the mix.
"He's a big part of our success and our offense, and another weapon for us out there," Rodgers said.
Cobb also had one of his best games of the season against the Giants back in Week 5, catching nine passes for a season-high 108 yards.
New York's impressive secondary is healthier now than it was then, when cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple tried to play through injuries.
A healthy Cobb along with the emerging Allison, plus Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and tight end Jared Cook, would give Head Coach Mike McCarthy even more options for mixing and matching personnel groups against one of the league's top defenses.
If that means a certain number of snaps for Cobb on Sunday, he'll take them and try to make the most of them.
"Whenever I get the ball, I try to make plays," he said. "They're a great defense. This is going to be a tough game."