Green Bay Packers young running back Johnathan Franklin must say good-bye to football. His career is cut short due to a serious neck injury suffered during his rookie year. Franklin’s one and only season was promising and full of highlights until the big hit Week 12 versus Atlanta.
You hear people say all the time, play every down like it's your last. You never think it's going to happen like that. But at least, Johnathan Franklin did play the game the right way.
In 11 games last year, Franklin totaled 19 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown; most of which came in his best game Week 3 at Cincinnati. He filled in for an injured Eddie Lacy and showed off his blazing speed and breathtaking jukes. Watching the rookie brought new life to the Packers running game. It was like handing the ball off to a poor man’s Barry Sanders.
Franklin is one of those blue-collar backs who does whatever it takes to be the best. Every one of his teammates and coaches rave about him. The Packers locker room knew they had not only a great player, but a great person.
At just 24 years old, Johnathan Franklin faces the reality of his football career meeting a dead end. At the very least, he’ll be remembered. And they’ll be talks for sure around Green Bay bars, “Remember when we finally had a great scat back? What if? Imagine…Lacy and Franklin a one-two-punch! He never got to do a Lambeau Leap.”
It’s sad to see so much potential lose an opportunity. This may be the toughest challenge of his life. But he’s handling it like a true class act.
As a testament to how much of a gentleman Franklin is, here is his Twitter post regarding the unfortunate news:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; Our God has purpose, and paths set for all of us. First off I would like to thank everyone who has supported me upon getting to this part of my life, it has been a tremendous blessing. Unfortunately this week I have been ruled out of returning for the 2014/15 season and returning to play in the NFL. But I understand God knows what he is doing and for now he has another platform for me to step upon. I ask that you all pray for me during this transition, I will stay strong and keep my peace through Christ because he is my guider. But thank you all And God Bless.”
Despite playing in Green Bay for just one year, he’ll be a Packer forever.