The New Orleans Saints are rumored to be losing running back C.J. Spiller for the first two weeks of the 2015 regular season, an injury that could be creating an opening for promising rookie Marcus Murphy.
Reports emerged this week that Spiller, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago, is running a bit later than initially expected in his rehab. Though it was initially believed he would be ready to start the season, new reports from sources close to the team indicate that Spiller may not be ready to suit up until Week 3.
BREAKING NEWS: Sources have told our @ScottyAESPN that #Saints running back CJ Spiller will likely miss the 1st two weeks of the 2015 season
— ESPN New Orleans (@ESPNRadioNOLA) August 27, 2015
There is no confirmation on how long C.J. Spiller will be out, but the rumor makes sense given New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and his tendency to be extremely cautious when it comes to player injuries.
As Fansided noted, the Saints are already loaded in the backfield, and this could create an opportunity for seventh round draft pick Marcus Murphy.
“With Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson in the mix, New Orleans will be in good hands. And if rookie all-purpose running back Marcus Murphy does indeed make the team, which is very likely, don’t be surprised if he gets installed into some of those Spiller schemes very quickly.”
Payton has already been high on Murphy, even giving him the green light to return every kick this preseason in order to showcase what he can do in the return game.
“I think there’s a handful of players, he’s one of them, that the special teams are going to be extremely important,” Payton told the Advocate. “He didn’t receive a chance to return that many punts, but I thought his instincts were really good with the kick returns.”
Murphy could be especially valuable given the team’s tendency to go for all-purpose backs.
The Shreveport Times noted, “The Saints have had success with smaller running backs who double as return men — namely, Darren Sproles, who in 2011 set an NFL record that still stands with 2,696 all-purpose yards. Like Sproles, Murphy has exceptional speed and agility, in addition to being deceptively strong for a player his size. He’s already demonstrated he’s not afraid to try to break tackles rather than veer out of bounds to avoid a hit. […]”
If the rumors about C.J. Spiller missing the first two weeks are true, then it seems the New Orleans Saints may find a suitable replacement in Marcus Murphy.
[Picture by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]