Word leaked out yesterday that the Green Bay Packers believed that running back Johnathan Franklin had a career-threatening neck injury. You can now officially call that a career-ending neck injury.
Franklin announced that he won’t be playing this season and has been ruled out to return to the NFL.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that to the media today saying, “He will not be back with us.”
The Packers are well-equipped to handle the blow, with arguably three other starting-caliber running backs on the roster. Franklin’s story is now one of what if.
He was a fourth-round draft pick last season after running for more than 1,800 yards in his final season at UCLA. In his only extensive action, Franklin rushed for 103 yards against a good Cincinnati defense in week three of the 2013 season.
Franklin was hardly used after that and ended up getting injured in week 12. We were told it was a concussion at the time time. Clearly not the case.
Oddly, we haven’t been able to gather any information on exactly what the problem is. “Neck injury” is what everyone is slinging, but there are a lot of different kinds of neck injuries.
Obviously, it’s a severe injury, but you have to wonder if somebody didn’t mess something up along the way. Only in Green Bay do you go from being diagnosed as having a concussion one day to having a career-threatening neck injury the next.