Murphy Injury Could Guarantee Six ReceiversAugust 29th, 2014
Wide receiver Louis Murphy took an ugly hit on the sidelines in the second half of last night’s game. He didn’t return and was classified as having a lower back injury.
That probably locked up a roster spot for Chris Owusu, and possibly another receiver.
Murphy will make the final 53-man roster, which will be released today or tomorrow. He’s got experience (121 career catches) and performed consistently through the summer.
Rookies Solomon Patton and Robert Herron are also locks. Patton is the punt returner/kick returner, and the organization loves Herron. Plus Herron has shown he can get open and run routes well for a rookie, but the guy will have to squeeze the darn football more often to have any kind of NFL shelf life. General manager Jason Licht praised Herron’s progress during the WFLA-TV game broadcast last night.
That’s five receivers, when you add in starters Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.
Lovie Smith has referenced having five or six receivers on a few occasions. And Joe’s sure Murphy’s injury will force a sixth receiver to be added.
Chris Owusu (13 career catches) seems to be the likely sixth. But if Murphy is deemed available for opening day, Joe wouldn’t consider Owusu a slam dunk since he doesn’t play special teams. Lovie has said his “fifth or sixth receiver” must play special teams. Also, Owusu is practice squad eligible, and the Bucs might believe he’ll clear waivers and they could sneak him on the practice squad.
Joe doesn’t rule out WR Russell Shepard landing as the sixth receiver. He was a special teams standout last season, a favorite of Dave Wannstedt.