Johnathan Franklin Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Packers run game: Franklin running himself right out of Green Bay


Johnathan Franklin’s jersey number matches the number of yards he’s accumulated in two preseason games. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Johnathan Franklin was the darling of all the Green Bay Packers draft choices – his potential was over the top – even greater than that of Eddie Lacy. He was projected to wow the coaches, the fans, the scouts and anyone else who had skin in the game.

Twenty-three yards.

Yes, 23 yards.

That’s what Franklin, the player who talked about becoming the mayor of Green Bay, has accumulated over the first two preseason games. His jersey number matches his total.

Clearly, he’s got a ways to go to garner any votes for his mayoral run, but more importantly, he’s got to mount one heck of a campaign to earn a spot on the Packers 53-man roster.

Since the start of camp, Franklin has seemingly run backward. Watching him run between the tackles is as painful as it must be on him when he gets tackled. He has been tried at kick and punt returns, but his indecision and inability to consistently field the ball has put him behind the eight ball in that category.

Consider his decision not to field a punt in last Saturday night’s preseason game at St. Louis. The ball dropped in among a group of players and bounced off a Packers player. The ball was recovered by St. Louis.

He seems tentative when he has the ball and his blocking has been suspect as well. When he does get the ball in space – which should be his specialty – he hasn’t shown the burst needed to make a difference.

So, is Franklin running himself right out of Green Bay? His main competition – Alex Green and James Starks – haven’t done much better in their opportunities, leaving only Eddie Lacy living up to expectations at this point.

Many considered running back to be one of the deepest position on the team, but without projected starter DuJuan Harris in the mix yet, things are looking pretty thin.

Yes, there’s still two weeks of training camp left, but how the Packers proceed over the next couple of weeks will be interesting. Do they release Starks and/or Green? Has Franklin played himself onto the bubble? Will the poor performance by those three runners force the Packers to keep John Kuhn?

These are questions that must be answered and answered quickly.

As for Franklin, the jury is still out. He could climb out of his deficit with solid performances in the final two preseason games. Personally, I’m hoping he comes around and does enough to warrant a roster spot.

Stay tuned …

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  • jake

    Please tell me this isn’t the best this app can come up with. Of course Franklin will make the team..4th rounders don’t get cut after 2 poor preseason games. And Harris has been back for a week now..they’re just easing him in. Cmon man!

  • Mike Brand

    franklin just needs time. i really doubt he was coming in as the #1 rb we all know lacy was brought in for that role. he was brought in for a 3rd down back. i honstly think he will develop into a good rb . he has not had his fair shots at practice with the first string so i think as time goes by he will be what thompson seen in him

  • Guest

    Franklin is a lock for the team and that is not even a question. Harris, Lacy and Starks are making the 53. The question marks are going to be Kuhn, Green and Starks. Pease is going to the practice squad. Starks looked good week 1 and then was awful this past week. He had the fumble and just whiffed on an attempted pick up of a blitz. Green looked pretty good this past week. Kuhn, well that is going to come down to tight ends as well. My guess is Kuhn does not make it and we go with the extra younger tight ends.

    If you want a guess right now, I say Starks and Kuhn both don’t make it. But they both have time to make an impact the next 2 games.

  • Moveguy

    Franklin is a lock for the 53 along with Lacy and Harris. The question marks are Kuhn, Greene and Starks. Pease is going to the practice squad. Starks was awful this past week after looking good week 1. Greene looked good this past week. Kuhn is going to be subject to how many tight ends we want to keep. I can see us keeping an extra TE and not keeping Kuhn.

    As of this minute, I would say Starks and Kuhn are odd men out. But there is still time for this to change because look what happened from week 1 to 2.