Thursday, April 20, 2006

Murphy, We Hardly Knew Ye

Promising 2005 second round draft pick, wide receiver Terrence Murphy, is being released by the Packers for medical reasons. Following a collision Murphy had on a kickoff return against Carolina last October, where he suffered a bruised spinal cord and numbness in his arms and legs, doctors discovered Murphy suffered from a pre-existing condition known as stenosis or narrowing of the spinal cord.

Murphy has seen a host of specialists since the injury. The Packers have apparently sided with those who offered the opinion that Murphy faced a substantial risk of injury if he were to play football again. Rather than place this young man at risk, they have decided to part ways with him. By failing him on his physical, Murphy becomes a free agent and is available to any other team that might be willing to sign him. Whether any would be willing to do so after looking at his medical reports, however, is another matter. It is a sad moment for a very gifted athlete, and one who was just beginning to show flashes of becoming a potential break-out receiver for the Packers. The head-on collision he received during that October 3 game, however, changed things for him and the Pack.

So, the Packers currently have two proven veteran receivers on the roster, Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson, as well veteran Rod Gardner and free agent pick up Marc Boerigter. As for signed veteran whiner, Javon Walker, who knows? Probably not.

Among others who will be trying to make the roster are NFL Europe standout Chad Lucas, and a couple practice squad players. This year's draft is not deep at receiver. The Pack will be lucky to find someone like Murphy who can step in and have an immediate impact. The best that can really be hoped for at this point is that Driver, Ferguson, Boerigter and Lucas can provide the catches needed to move the offense down the field.