By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 10:40 am in Oakland Raiders.
Wide receiver Louis Murphy is practicing for the first time in more than two months. He hurt his groin and hamstring Aug. 1, missed the next two weeks or so and then underwent surgery to repair the damage.
He has missed all four of Oakland’s regular-season games while recovering from an injury that Murphy and the Raiders hoped would keep him out of action for only one game.
Murphy’s potential return Sunday against the Houston Texans brings about the prospect of how to use the wide receivers, now that all six are healthy enough to play.
Murphy was Oakland’s top-producing receiver each of the past two seasons. The Raiders since have added rookie Denarius Moore and veteran Derek Hagan, both of whom have been productive the first quarter of this season.
Also, third-year receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is fresh from a four-catch, 115-yard performance against the New England Patriots, and Jacoby Ford is back from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two games.
Running backs Darren McFadden (groin) and Michael Bush (ankle) are practicing and showing no signs of any lingering effects from their injuries. That bodes well for their playing against the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring), defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), fullback Marcel Reece (ankle), tight end Ricky Brown (concussion) and tight end Richard Gordon (hand) are not practicing today.
All are questionable for the Texans game at this point.
Moore and Ford split time on punt-return duties in the early portion of practice. Moore replaced Nick Miller in that capacity last Sunday. Ford has not returned a punt in a regular-season game duing his two-year NFL career.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is working out off to the side, while his teammates work in full-team drills. He has one game left in his five-game suspension.
Pryor is eligible to join the Raiders in practice and games beginning Monday. The Raiders will be forced to add him to their 53-man roster at some point. It’s likely that the Raiders will receive a brief window before they have to activate him so that Pryor can get up to speed.
It’s anyone’s guess as to which player will be released to make room for Pryor on the 53-man roster. At this point, the leading candidate would be rookie defensive back Ron Parker.
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