According to a report from The Charlotte Observer, the Carolina Panthers will start wide receiver Louis Murphy if Brandon LaFell is unable to play in Sunday’s heated rivalry game against the Atlanta Falcons. LaFell has a severe turf toe injury (Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is only too familiar with this kind of ailment), and it is so bad that the former LSU Tigers standout has been in a walking boot.
The last time Murphy got the start due to an injury to LaFell, he put up just one-catch against a soft Washington Redskins defense. That’s not really his fault, though, because he only received two targets. Even so, it’s a sign that the Panthers are much more confident in increasing star tight end Greg Olson’s targets instead of giving them to Murphy. And hey, why wouldn’t they? Olson’s one of the best pure pass-catching tight ends in the NFL.
Head coach Ron Rivera talked a little bit about what Louis Murphy can bring to the table, “One of the things he does present is a speed threat. I think if people want to roll towards Steve (Smith, the team’s leading receiver), I think with Murph’s ability to run, and we saw his ability to catch the deep ball, I think that can be a scary thing.”