According to a report, the Green Bay Packers have serious concerns about second-year running back Johnathan Franklin, who has yet to practice since sustaining a concussion and a neck injury in a game against the Minnesota Vikings last November.
Franklin, a fourth-round pick out of UCLA in 2013, was injured on the opening kickoff of the game against the Vikings and was placed on injured reserve three days after the game.
According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, the Packers fear the neck injury might be career-ending. Citing sources “with knowledge of the situation,” the team is putting Franklin through more tests in order to determine whether it’s safe for him to keep playing.
“It’s too bad he got hurt. He was doing a good job. Everything as advertised. He’s got a nice game. He’s very balanced, quick, heady and confident. No, he hasn’t been a disappointment at all.”
Franklin rushed for 107 yards on 19 carries last season, with 103 of those yards—and a touchdown—coming on 13 carries with a touchdown in the Packers’ 34-30 loss at Cincinnati on Sept. 22 after he was pressed into service because of injuries.
Eddie Lacy was inactive for that game with a concussion and backup James Starks injured his knee in the first half and Franklin responded well before he had to leave the game himself in the fourth quarter.
Franklin also caught four passes for 30 yards and returned four kickoffs for a 20.5-yard average.
Franklin is the all-time leader in rushing yards at UCLA, finishing his career with 4,403 yards, and set a single-season school mark with 1,734 yards as a senior.