Packers rookie running back Johnathan Franklin will not be able to participate in the team's OTAs because of a little-known rule. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Johnathan Franklin gets schooled; can't participate in OTAs

Everybody has to play by the rules and nobody knows that better today than Green Bay Packers rookie running back Johnathan Franklin.

According to Kevin Siefert and his cohorts over at ESPN, there is an NFL rule with all good intentions, but one that will for sure put Franklin back in his training this month – the rule states that no rookie player may participate in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) until their college finals are completed.

UCLA has finals scheduled until June 14, and with the Packers mandatory three-day minicamp the first week of June, that leaves Franklin on the outside looking in. Fellow UCLA rookie Datone Jones has reportedly already graduated and isn’t affected by the rule.

The OTA practices open to the public are slated for three Tuesdays — May 21, May 28 and June 11 — and will begin at 11:30 a.m. The two mandatory minicamp practices are scheduled for June 4 and 5.

The only other Packer rookie who may have a conflict is wide receiver Charles Johnson out of Grand Valley State – but it seems he has tweeted that he will be in camp, so he most likely is not enrolled in classes at this point.

The complete list was nicely put together by our friends over at Acme Packing Company showing all of the rookies and their availability. Here’s what author Evan “Tex” Western put together:

Round Player Position School Last Exam Date Conflict?
1 Datone Jones DE UCLA N/A (graduated) No
2 Eddie Lacy RB Alabama May 3 No
4 David Bakhtiari OL Colorado May 9 No
4 J.C. Tretter OL Cornell May 17 No
4 Johnathan Franklin RB UCLA June 14 YES
5 Micah Hyde CB Iowa May 17 No
5 Josh Boyd DT Mississippi St. May 3 No
6 Nate Palmer OLB llinois State May 10 No
7 Charles Johnson WR Grand Valley St. June 19* Maybe*
7 Kevin Dorsey WR Maryland May 17 No
7 Sam Barrington ILB South Florida May 3 No

It’s unclear how this might affect Franklin’s progress in learning the Packers system, but it certainly won’t help him. It’s hoped that he can catch up in a timely fashion once the players start hitting for real during Training Camp in July.


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