Green Bay Packers second-year running back Johnathan Franklin had just 19 carries for 107 yards and four receptions for 30 yards in 11 appearances last season, as the Packers were stocked up at the running back position with top-notch rookie workhorse Eddie Lacy and solid RB2 James Starks in the fold. Franklin was placed on the injured reserve in late November with what looked like a concussion but was later deemed to be a neck injury. He’s still rehabbing, and he hasn’t participated in offseason workouts.
In fact, ESPN NFL Nation’s Rob Demovsky reports that the Packers are very worried about Franklin’s injury, and they believe the former UCLA Bruins star’s neck issue could be career-threatening. Per Demovsky, the Packers will put Franklin through some more tests in order to figure out whether or not his career at risk, and this isn’t the first time a scary neck injury has threatened (or indeed did) to impact a player’s career. I mean, he wasn’t even the only player on the Packers offense to suffer a major neck injury last season.
If Franklin is cleared, then he will figure to be the No. 3 back behind Lacy and Starks, but that isn’t set in stone either. A quality change-of-pace back, Franklin looked great against the Cincinnati Bengals after injuries thrust him into the starting role, but he was never able to receive a significant opportunity outside of that standout performance.