The game was stopped for about 10 minutes as doctors and trainers tended to the rookie. Murphy was returning a kickoff that was muffed by Najeh Daveport. Murphy picked up the loose ball, turned and was hit by Thomas, who launched himself into Murphy's side, twisting him backward.
After the collision, Murphy complained of tingling and numbness but was alert and had movement in his extremities.
The Packers are no strangers to scary injuries. During the preseason, wide receiver Antonio Chatman sustained a neck injury after getting hit by New England's Rodney Harrison. Last year, wide receiver Robert Ferguson was taken off the field on a stretcher after he was injured from an illegal clothesline tackle by Jacksonville safety Donovin Darius. During the 2003 season opener, Donald Driver suffered a neck injury while attempting to make a catch. In 2002, offensive tackle Chad Clifton was blindsided by an unnecessary block by Tampa Bay's Warren Sapp during an interception return. Clifton was hospitalized for more than a week with a severe pelvic injury. "It was very scary," said Packers coach Mike Sherman. "It reminded me of (Robert) Ferguson and Chad Clifton. It was very scary, but it looks like he's going to be OK."
Murphy's injury left the Packers with three healthy receivers during the game – Driver, Ferguson and Chatman. Javon Walker, Green Bay's top receiver, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener against Detroit.
The Packers worked out free agent Jerome Pathon a few days after Walker was injured but decided not to sign him. He has since signed with the Atlanta Falcons. If Murphy is unable to play this Sunday against New Orleans, and it appears that will be the case, the Packers may promote one of three receivers from their practice squad – Craig Bragg, Jamal Jones or Chad Lucas. All three were with the team during training camp, and all three can return kickoffs.