Johnathan Franklin: A career taken away too soon

Some unfortunate and all too familiar news came out of Packers practice today.

On a day it appears most key veterans were given the day off, head coach Mike McCarthy broke the news of Johnathan Franklin’s career being cut way too short due to the neck injury he suffered in week 12 of the 2013 season.

The Packers have been down this road just a few years back when the great Nick Collins’ career also came to an end by the way of a neck injury. All of this while we await final word on Jermichael Finley and Johnny Jolly, as to whether or not their careers may be cut well short as well.

McCarthy stated today that Franklin will not be back with the team and there would be more news regarding the issue tomorrow.

 “Unfortunately this week I have been ruled out of the 2014/15 season and returning to the NFL.” -Johnathan Franklin

Johnathan Franklin released a note on twitter earlier in the day. “Unfortunately this week I have been ruled out of the 2014/15 season and returning to the NFL.” Franklin also went on to ask for prayers in his time of transition and stated he will stay strong and keep peace through Christ.

Franklin, at 24 years old, is described as a very charismatic young man who always wears a big smile on his face. At Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles he was an all-city running back. Franklin also appeared on the reality show Baldwin Hills that followed teenagers through the LA District and aired on BET.

Green Bay Packer Running Back Johnathan Franklin

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

His play earned him a scholarship to UCLA where Franklin went on to become the all-time career rushing yards holder. In 2012, he rushed for 1,700 yards and 13 touchdowns while tallying up 2,014 all-purpose yards. Franklin surpassed Gaston Green’s record for career yards at UCLA (3,731) on a 37-yard touchdown run Nov. 3 against Arizona on the school’s homecoming day at the Rose Bowl.

At 5-foot, 10 inches tall and 205 pounds, Franklin had nice size to go along with versatility and playmaking skills. The Packers scooped Franklin up in the fourth round with the 125th overall pick. This formed what seemed to be at the time a possible thunder and lightning package with second round pick Eddie Lacy for years to come.

In week 3 of the 2013 season against the Cincinnati Bengals, Franklin put his skills on display. On only 13 carries he rambled off 103 yards and one touchdown. His home run potential was also shown on a 51-yard run during the game. Unfortunately most remember the game for Franklin’s costly fumble.

Johnathan Franklin’s NFL career very sadly appears to come to an end with only 19 career carries good for 107 yards and 1 touchdown. This leaves Packers fans dreaming about that what could have been scenarios.

I have no doubt Franklin will go on to do great things with his life and make a huge impact on other people while doing it. It is very saddening to see the pattern of athletes losing their career and what they love in the prime of their lives.

Nothing but prayers and the best of fortunes to Johnathan Franklin on his future endeavors.

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