"The McRib always makes a grand entrance on our menus and we don't want to steal its thunder—so stay tuned," McComb said.
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Abroad, McDonald's units in Philippines and Guatemala have been advertising the sandwich's availability via social media.
The McRib is the rare U.S. limited-time offering in the fast-food industry that returns annually to great fanfare. Germany is the only country where the McRib is sold year-round.
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Introduced in 1982, the McRib has become so popular that it's even sparked one fan site devoted to spotting sightings of it. This year, McDonald's will be looking for the regular draw of the McRib attraction to boost U.S. sales.
Performance at its U.S. unit has floundered with comparable sales dropping 1.5 percent in the second quarter. These negative sales trends persisted into July and August.
As it seeks to boost sales, McDonald's ramped up its campaign this week to educate consumers about its food with a series of videos aimed at dispelling rumors about its meat.