A fourth-round selection in the 2013 NFL draft, Johnathan Franklin looked like a steal for the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately for both the team and Franklin, a neck injury he suffered in his rookie year will end his career with the team.
Drafted to combine with fellow running back Eddie Lacy to give the Packers a dangerous 1-2 punch in the backfield, this is a loss that will drastically change the team’s long-term plans in the running game. Whereas Franklin provided a nice change of pace to Lacy’s downhill style, guys like James Starks and DuJuan Harris just don’t provide the same shiftiness and explosion as Franklin.
It’s always tough to see a player’s career end due to injury, especially when that player was someone as promising as Franklin. And while there is still a slight chance Franklin could continue to recover and eventually sign with a new team, it’s extremely unlikely. Even as good as Franklin’s potential is, no NFL team is going to want to take a risk on a player with injury concerns as serious as Franklin’s are.
Overall, this is a big loss to the Green Bay Packers’ backfield, and is a tough situation to watch play out. Nobody likes to see a young player like Franklin lose his career to an injury, however, when it does happen, it serves as a warning to players everywhere. Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, and before you know it, a player’s career could be over before it’s even able to really start.
We wish Franklin the best of luck moving forward, and wish him returned good health in the future.