Murphy sustained a pulled hamstring in early August during a practice. That injury caused him to miss the team's scrimmages against the Buffalo Bills and first preseason game against the San Diego Chargers. Murphy returned to practice during Week 3 of camp, only to sprain his knee during practice on Aug. 17. He has not practiced since then.
Mike Sherman said Sunday that Murphy will be out of action until after the team's first regular season game against Detroit on Sept. 11. At this point, the Packers would be better off placing Murphy on the Physically Unable to Perform list when the final roster cuts are made on Sunday. By placing him on PUP, Murphy will not be able to play in the team's first six games of the season. After that time, the Packers will have a three-week window in which to active him to the 53-man roster.
Murphy obviously needs time for his sore knee to heal. He also will need time to practice, since he has missed the majority of training camp. It will only make sense to delay his "camp" until late September and early October. Both he and the team will benefit with this approach.
Chatman is a reliable return specialist, and quarterback Brett Favre has said that he is comfortable with him as the fourth receiver. Andrae Thurman has been impressive on kickoff returns this season and has potential to be a good receiver. When Thurman is able to remove the cast on his broken left thumb in a few weeks, he also will push Chatman to return punts.
The bottom line: The Packers are covered with Chatman and Thurman as the fourth and fifth receivers until Murphy can return from his injury. So, give the rookie some time to learn the offense in practice before throwing him into the fire.
Note: Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at email@example.com.