Packers worried about status of Johnathan Franklin’s neck


The Packers drafted running backs in bulk a year ago, hoping something would work.

Now, they’re wondering if one of them will work again.

According to Rob Demovsky of, the Packers are concerned that running back Johnathan Franklin might have a career-threatening neck injury.

Last year’s fourth-rounder from UCLA hasn’t practiced this offseason, and according to the report, the Packers are “putting Franklin through more tests to determine whether it’s safe for him to continue playing.”

Franklin had one great game last year, running for 103 yards on 13 carries against the Bengals in September. But he only had six more carries the rest of the season after that one, and second-rounder Eddie Lacy grew into his role as the lead back nicely.

Neck injuries are a sensitive topic anyway for the Packers, after going through varying degrees of them with Nick Collins, Sean Richardson and Jermichael Finley in recent years.

While the lack of information will always cause speculation to grow, the fact he hasn’t been out there is a concern.

39 responses to “Packers worried about status of Johnathan Franklin’s neck

  1. Don’t forget terrence Murphy, he was a second rounder several years ago who never suited up because of undiagnosed spinal stenosis. Neck injuries and the packers are now as synonymous as the browns and staph infections.

  2. What’s going on out there ? Lombardi would cut them all and get somebody else. We can live without Franklin (sorry to hear about the neck), Worthy (lazy?), Perry (head case), or Clueless (nuf said). Move on quick ……

    Go Packers.

  3. Does anyone remember last year at this time when all Packer fans were super-excited about Johnathan Franklin and what a great fourth-round steal he was? This despite having a long history of failure at drafting running backs. Yet this year, Viking fans are mocked and ridiculed by Packer fans for being a little excited about drafting a quarterback in the first round who was projected to be the #1 overall pick. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me.

  4. Just another list of busts in the line of Teddy Thompson!!!! If you buy some “fake stock” can you cash in the dividends any buy another draft pick or do you have to spend it on your outhouse????

  5. Franklin has the ability to be like another Sproles. That being said, the Packers are deep at RB so they can afford to cut him either way.

  6. There’s that famous loyalty from Packer fans. Before they saw him play they anointed him a future Hall of Famer. Now that they’ve seen him play and he has a devastating neck injury, they turn on him. Real classy.

  7. You’ve gotta be kidding- I thought he was going to be a huge piece of the offense after last draft. He looked awesome against the Bengals last year, the fumble was one play. I hope he can come back I still think he can be a game changer in our offense.

  8. If it plays out this way it will be a bummer. Solid citizen from what I’ve seen and had real potential– Anyone remember his 100+ yard game? —

    That being said, with Harris and Starks back and Eddie Lacy ready to truck punks over again (especially those in PURPLE) RB depth is not going to be a concern for the Pack for a while.

    Best wishes to Franklin to make a full recovery, though.

  9. This sucks. The way we have had injuries, he would’ve provided much needed depth even though he would’ve been 4th string. Hopefully it isn’t career threatening and he can get on the field again. I really thought he could make a second year jump after struggling last year.

  10. What I remember about this time last year, Tiny Hands, is that Viking fans were mocking and ridiculing Packer fans for being excited about getting Eddie Lacy. He was fat and soft and slow and would be a huge bust. Whereas the Vikings had 3 sure-fire future Hall of Famers in their class. (But still managed to finish last.)
    Now maybe Bridgewater will be fine, but on what planet was he ever “projected to be the #1 overall pick”? Most mocks had Clowney #1. I remember an occasional mock with Watkins or Manziel or Mack on top, but Bridgewater? No.
    For that matter, if the Vikes really thought he was all that, why didn’t they take him at 8 or 9? He’s a project, like the entire MN team at this point.

  11. The depth on this team will allow the Packers to move forward without missing a beat. They have a starter from 2012 that didn’t even suit up in 2013 so they are not hurting at the RB position.

    And yet our poor country cousins to the west will tell us that we are a one man team. That one man must be pretty good to post 7 wins against the Viking in just the last 4 years.

  12. I think it’s nice to see a team care about a player’s long term health and not just how he can help the team in the short term. This is how an NFL organization should be run. Players’ health and safety should be paramount. The consequences can be very steep for players on teams that don’t take this same approach.

    Hope everything turns out okay, Johnathan, and if not, thank you for service to the Green Bay Packers.

  13. I’m getting kind of pissed with my fellow Packers fans here. I’m seeing way too many “We’re deep at running back, so who cares?” comments. He’s one of our guys and on top of that, the dude may lose his livelihood. Hopefully, his neck responds to treatment and therapy, but if not, he’s got to put his health first.

  14. From a football perspective, he has Lacy, Starks, and Harris ahead of him with Kuhn picking up carries and maybe even Lyerla every now and then if he makes the team. Strictly from a football perspective, this has zero impact on the Packers.

  15. Hope he can bounce back to normal. He was fun to watch in that game against the bengels(til the fumble). He complements Lacy’s style nicely. A positive in the situation is he’s still really young.. From personal experiance it seems like the healing process slows down drastically after 30. Being young is also a negative cause he hasn’t made the millions to fall back on. Best of luck JF! Hope to see you back on the field soon

  16. Forgot to mention our prayers are with you Franklin and for the purple just wanted to remind you even without him the Packers had a better running game than the Vikings. Its no wonder the queens wanted to sign Starks only to have him laugh at the suggestion.

  17. I feel bad for Franklin, but it’s a numbers game at halfback and we’re already three deep at the position with a couple of intriguing UFAs fighting for a possible fourth slot (that’s assuming they keep Kuhn as a fullback).

    Bad deal for Franklin. Doesn’t really hurt the Packers though.

  18. Luckily the Great State of Minnesota is near, to provide this young man with real world first class health care….send him over to the mayo, they will help him, or I guess in “Wisconsin” they would send him to the nearest CVS “minute clinic”..

  19. Franklin has big time play making ability just has much as Cobb. He fumbles too much. It would be great to heal him up and give him another chance. This kid could be a star.

  20. TT has a plan and will execute it, always does and always will.

    Did you see the depth at the QB position last year?

    No worries here.

    TT = equals best GM ever.

    arod = just like it sounds

  21. I watched that bengals game last year and he had flashes of brilliance. This is really sad to hear.

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