linkSo it looks like they are going all out to keep Favre!Packers to release Murphy
Receiver suffers from spinal cord condition
By TOM SILVERSTEIN
Posted: April 19, 2006
Apparently unwilling to accept the risk of having wide receiver Terrence Murphy play football with a serious neck condition, the Green Bay Packers are on the verge of announcing that they are parting ways with the 2005 second-round pick.
A&M with the 58th pick in the draft last season.
Rookie receiver Terrence Murphy had to be carted from the field after being injured in a game Oct. 3 against Carolina.
Two National Football League sources said Wednesday night that the Packers were set to move on without Murphy and were discussing with his representatives how to best handle his release.
The Packers had very high hopes for Murphy after selecting him out of Texas A&M with the 58th pick in the draft last season. But after he suffered a bruised spinal cord and numbness in his arms and legs following a violent collision with Carolina safety Thomas Davis on a kickoff return Oct. 3, doctors discovered Murphy suffered from an existing condition known as stenosis or a narrowing of the spinal column.
In the months after the injury, Murphy saw a slew of specialists, including renowned Los Angeles spinal surgeon Robert Watkins. The Packers were believed to have received a number of different evaluations of Murphy's condition, but apparently sided with those who thought there was significant risk in putting the 6-1, 196-pound receiver on the field.
General manager Ted Thompson said last month that he planned to sit down with his medical staff and review all the test results, then make a decision on Murphy's status. Thompson could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.
However, one source said "it was looking that way" when asked if the Packers were close to making an announcement that they would not be able to pass him on his physical examination. The source said it was unclear when the Packers would announce the decision, but a source close to Murphy's family said that Murphy was already aware of the decision.
If the Packers fail Murphy on his physical, he will become a free agent able to negotiate with any other team in the league. It's unclear whether Murphy will seek a team that will view the results of his tests differently or retire from football.
In December, more than two months after the injury, Murphy expressed optimism that he would be able to resume his career. But he acknowledged that the risk factor was something he would have to consider strongly and was going to see what the various specialists had to say about the injury.
Murphy admitted that if forced to undergo surgery to fuse his vertebrae that he would not continue playing. One of the people Murphy planned to consult was Milwaukee Bucks guard T.J. Ford, who played college basketball at Texas and was an acquaintance of Murphy's. Ford was also diagnosed with stenosis, but was able to return to the basketball court after having two of his cervical vertebrae fused.
"I don't want to do that," Murphy said at the time. "If it comes down to that I just might (quit). It's not 100% that would help me come back."
Murphy was just starting to make his presence known when he picked up a fumbled kickoff by teammate Najeh Davenport and took a shot from Davis. Murphy had five catches for 36 yards and five kickoff returns for 91 yards when his season ended.
At the time, coach Mike Sherman was making a concerted effort to get him more involved in the offense. Powerful and a good route runner, Murphy fit the West Coast offense well and would have been a prime candidate to be one of the team's top three receivers this season.
The Packers are now down to two receivers - Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson - who saw significant action last season and will have to count on veteran Rod Gardner and newcomer Marc Boerigter to help fill Murphy's void. The club still doesn't know for sure whether it will have Javon Walker, who has vowed never to play for the team again because of a contract dispute.
Among the players who will be vying to make the roster are Chad Lucas, who set an NFL Europe record with four touchdowns in a game earlier this month, and practice squad players Vince Butler and Ruvell Martin. Receiver is not a very deep position in the draft so the Packers will be hard-pressed to find someone of Murphy's caliber.
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