Louis Murphy will finish the season on injured reserve for the second straight year, but this time around it's a more disappointing ending to his campaign.
Last year, Murphy missed only the last two games, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of playoff contention, and was quickly re-signed to a new contract in the subsequent offseason. This time, Murphy will miss 10 games and an opportunity to help the 2-4 Buccaneers get back into the postseason hunt. The team officially placed Murphy on injured reserve on Tuesday after he suffered a significant knee injury in Sunday's game at Washington.
The Buccaneers also released three players from their practice squad on Tuesday: cornerbacks Keon Lyn and Dax Swanson and tackle Martin Wallace. In addition, Head Coach Lovie Smith mentioned the possibility of promoting one of the three receivers on the practice squad to take Murphy's spot. However, neither that opening on the 53-man roster nor the new spaces on the practice squad were officially filled on Tuesday. The team is likely to take care of all of that before taking the practice field on Wednesday afternoon.
Before his injury, Murphy had filled the role of the team's primary slot receiver, and he had made a habit of contributing big plays. He averaged 19.8 yards on his 10 catches in 2015, capped by a 29-yarder against the Redskins that concluded with his injury.
Murphy first joined the Buccaneers in 2014, appearing in 11 games and starting three. He caught 31 passes for 380 yards and two touchdowns in that span, marking his most prolific season since he hauled in 41 passes for Oakland in 2010. In all, Murphy has played seven seasons in the league, including three with the Raiders (2009-11), one in Carolina (2012), one with the New York Giants (2013) and two in Tampa. His career numbers include 162 catches for 2,322 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Lyn and Swanson each spent just one week on the Buccaneers' practice squad, signing last Tuesday. Wallace also signed last Tuesday but had also been on that crew in Weeks One, Three and Four.