Atari Bigby

With Peprah's recent play, the Packers could use Bigby.

Green Bay Packers safety Atari Bigby, who’s spent more time standing around on the sideline this season than he has on the field, could return from his latest injury as early as this week.

Bigby took part in a limited portion of practice on Thursday and passed a running test before practice, which is the surest sign yet he’s close to returning.

“Atari is making a lot of progress,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “He looked good, particularly in the opponent scout reps that he was taking. It will be encouraging to see how he feels in the morning when he goes through the doctor’s evaluation.”

Bigby’s return could be a boost for the Packers’ secondary. After playing well for much of the season, the current starter at strong safety, Charlie Peprah, seems to have taken a step backward.

Whether the Packers are cautious with Bigby remains to be seen. The team travels to New England next week to face the Patriots in a much tougher game than this week’s contest at Detroit.