Owning Greg Jennings this year has just been the worst. Like worse than the idea to remake Red Dawn, and worse than the idea to take a shot every time someone says the word “home” during Red Dawn. That’s a lot of bad right there.

But finally there’s hope for the fantasy jerk who’s missed seven games. Small, teasing hope.

Jennings practiced briefly yesterday with his teammates for the first time since re-aggravating his groin injury way back in Week 4. While that alone is encouraging, he admitted afterwards that he was sucking back a rather abnormal amount of oxygen.

Here’s Jennings’ Wednesday practice report, from Jennings:

“There were some routes I was able to push it,” he said. “I pretty much pushed myself to see how much I can take. As far as speed, I got up to full speed on a few routes. Felt really great. My wind is horrible right now so I’m trying to get my wind under wraps. But other than that, I felt great.

“I felt no pain whatsoever. It’s been a long time coming since I could say that.”

Progress, it’s still a good thing.

Today, those baby steps became a little closer to being real steps, with Tom Silverstein of the Green Bay Press-Gazette observing a Jennings in practice that looked, well, a little more like Jennings. He was in full pads and “moving well.” Cool, but what exactly does that mean? Well, firstly it means that you’ll be infused with a little bit of false hope for a Jennings sighting this week. The odds of that happening are still extremely unlikely. So yes, the groin kicks keep coming for a player who was widely drafted in the second round, and he’s set to miss half the season.

We haven’t perfected time travel yet, so that’s not about to change. But here’s what you can feel good about after Jennings’ gradual increase in practice participation: he’ll most likely be ready for next week, meaning he’ll be with you for the fantasy playoffs, and the remaining stretch drive.

The next question, of course, is what effect this will have on the two Packers receivers who have largely been filling in for Jennings. For Randall Cobb, the impact will be minimal, as his versatility has led to a wide variety of usage, from short catches after lining up in the backfield to slot work. However, James Jones’ value will suffer, as he’s officially adopted the No. 2 wide receiver role in the Packers’ offense opposite Jordy Nelson. Although Jones will still see looks next week with Jennings eased in, he’ll only be worth a roster spot in deep leagues once Green Bay’s top wideout gets back to full strength. Even currently Jones’ value is limited, as after a highly productive run between weeks 4 and 6 when he had six touchdowns over just three games, he’s since scored a very moderate 27 fantasy points over the Packers’ last four games, while overall averaging just 49.5 receiving yards each week.

But forget about that, because Jones’ value was pretty much restricted to his Jennings fill-in role anyway, and most Jones owners are also Jennings owners who whiffed on Cobb. Just focus on the hope here, and the positive, warm thoughts during this festive day.

Until he comes back networks shouldn’t be airing Jennings’ Old Spice commercials. Also, HERP DERP.