Louis Murphy #18 of the Oakland Raiders runs the ball into the endzone for a 57-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 14.
Something rarely mentioned in the whole Michael Crabtree vs. Darrius Heyward-Bey debate is that niether receiver has been as productive as Raiders' diamond in the rough fourt-round pick, rookie Louis Murphy.
Murphy has stepped up during Chaz Schilens' absence, and is now the Raiders' leading receiver. In fact, David White points out in the Chronicle that Murphy has more catches and yards than all other Raiders receivers combined.
Now the Raiders may be about to lose Murphy, too. Dispatches from Raiders practices in the Oakland Tribune tell us that Murphy's hip is acting up, and he wasn't able to complete practice Thursday. His status is questionable for Sunday's game against the Chargers.
The latest from Raiders Friday morning practice isn't encouraging. Jerry McDonald writes on his Oakland Tribune blog that Murphy "was going through drillwork gingerly and at halfspeed with the wide receivers."
So in addition to the Raiders already missing their top receiver Schilens, they may also be down their top replacement for their top receiver. It's rough going for the Raiders' diamond in the rough.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who tempers this bad news with the knowledge that it is Halloween weekend for NFL cheerleaders.