The Packers started the day without Eddie Lacy and John Kuhn in the backfield, which means they may be down to one running back for the rest of the day.
The team announced after the half that James Starks is questionable to return with a knee injury. The rookie Johnathan Franklin is in the game and picked up five yards on the first carry of his NFL career in the third quarter.
It’s hardly an ideal situation to play a rookie for the first time in his career. The Packers offense has already lost tight end Jermichael Finley to a concussion and they’ve struggled to contain the Bengals pass rush all day. Franklin will have to help on that front as much or more than he adds a threat on the ground.
The first drive with Franklin ended well for the Pack as the rookie scored from two yards out to extend the lead to 23-14 for Green Bay. The Packers were helped immensely by a pair of penalties on the Bengals, including a roughing the passer call on safety Reggie Nelson on a third down incompletion.