Walker tore the ACL during the third quarter after he was tackled on a 55-yard reception from quarterback Brett Favre. The injury will take eight-to 12 months of rehabilitation, and he will have surgery once the swelling in his knee subsides.
"Certainly his impact as a football player and as a person in the locker room is huge," said Packers coach Mike Sherman, "but I think our team will be fairly resilient in regard to that. People are going to have to step forward. When you have an injury like this, as difficult as it may be, it's an opportunity for other people."
Walker caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and was named to the NFC squad in the Pro Bowl last year. One of the top deep threats in the league, Walker averaged 15.5 yards per catch, the highest average by an NFL receiver with that many catches since Arizona's David Boston averaged 16.3 yards on 98 receptions in 2001.
With Walker out, Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson become the Packers' top two receivers with Antonio Chatman as the No. 3 receiver. Rookie Terrence Murphy, drafted in the second round by the Packers this year, is expected to be ready to play this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field. Murphy is coming off a knee injury that he sustained in mid-August, causing him to miss most of training camp.
Murphy practiced last week, but team doctors recommended he sit out of yesterday's game. Murphy said he is day-to-day.
"There's a sense of urgency to push the envelope and get him ready to play this week," Sherman said. "From a health standpoint, he looked fine to me -- obviously a little rusty from a playing standpoint. Hopefully we can work through some of that in the next two days." The Packers, who had their league-best, five-year-old streak of scoring a touchdown in 77 straight games snapped against Detroit, likely will sign a veteran free agent receiver this week. It is possible that the team will promote rookie seventh-round pick Craig Bragg from the practice squad.
"We're looking at our options, regarding receivers that are out there and available to us," Sherman said.