Packers rookie running back Johnathan Franklin has fumbled in each of the team’s last two games and he wound up on the bench for the remainder of last Sunday’s win after he coughed the ball up.
According to running backs coach Alex Van Pelt, that’s not because the team was trying to send a message to Franklin about holding onto the ball. Van Pelt said it was because Eddie Lacy was running well and not because the team feels that Franklin is too careless with the ball.
“I didn’t say, ‘Hey, you’re done for the rest of the game because you put the ball on the ground,’ because I don’t think he’s that guy,” Van Pelt said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “If he’s carrying it loosely and swinging it around and it’s out all the time, then that’s a different story, and you’re not going to be out on the field, but I think he does take care of the ball.”
Franklin, who had issues holding onto the ball early in his UCLA career as well, has spent extra time working on ball security in practice this week and there’s no indication that the Packers are going to leave him on the bench against the Ravens this weekend. Should the fumbling continue, there might be a change of heart from Van Pelt and the rest of the Packers staff but, for now, Franklin hasn’t been banished from the lineup.