Career-ending neck injury sobering reminder for Packers

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The Packers had barely gotten to know Johnathan Franklin, when the second-year running back’s career was cut short by a neck injury.

But for those who knew him longer, the injury was a reminder of how fleeting an NFL career can be.

Packers defensive end Datone Jones was recruited at the same time and played at UCLA with Franklin, and was stopped in his tracks by yesterday’s news.

“I talked to him and he said I keep my faith first. I believe if this wasn’t it, it was a sign from God that I may have to pursue something else in life,” Jones said, via Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “The run was great. We all know coming into this game any day your career can be over. It was sad for me because not only is he my neighbor, he’s one of my good friends I’ve known since high school. I know how much we worked for it, even this offseason, how much we worked for it. It’s tough to see it end this way for a guy like that.”

Other players got the news by text.

“We were definitely sad,” running back Eddie Lacy said. “He shot everybody in the running back group a text and it just makes you cherish the moments that you get to play. We came in together, we got to know each other real good and we spent a lot of time together. He was just starting, and just like that, as fast as you get it, it can be taken away.”

That lesson shouldn’t be lost on anyone who plays football for a living.

25 responses to “Career-ending neck injury sobering reminder for Packers

  1. Can’t stand the Packers, but I do feel sorry for this dude. At least he is upbeat up about it and realizes that he was blessed with a gift to play in the NFL. No one likes to see injuries, no matter what team you root for. Good luck in your future, man!

  2. Heartfelt sympathy to Franklin and to Packers fans. I hate to see anyone go out this way. I remember how much it sucked when David Pollack was lost to a neck injury.

  3. Jonathan Franklin was a star in the making too.

    Hope he has a great life outside of football.

    He was way better than Eddie (Trent Richardson 2.0) Lacy.

  4. Packers haven’t had anything resembling luck Rodgers entire career.

    Allah Barakfeek to Franklin.

  5. I hope it’s not lost on football fans, either. Think about Franklin every time a millionaire player demands more money from a billionaire owner. Even the worst owners make more money than all the players on their team combined, and they never risk anything. It’s the players who play the games we watch on TV, they deserve their money.

  6. Remember Terrance Murphy retiring for the Packers after his rookie or second season with a similar injury after a hit by Thomas Davis. Looked him up he is doing real estate. Best of luck Johnathan.

  7. Hope he didn’t have $15,000 restaurant tab last year during his rookie year…he could use that. Maybe veterans should see something like this of an example of how short a career can be.

  8. Why is jealousy so bad regarding a game that an article has to be trolled with insults when a guys career has unfortunately ended short? Have some class.

  9. themeccalambeaufield says: Jun 20, 2014 4:40 PM

    Why is jealousy so bad regarding a game that an article has to be trolled with insults when a guys career has unfortunately ended short? Have some class.

    These are Viking fans, class is not gonna happen.

  10. The Packers were 8-8-1 last year because that mediocre 8-7-1 was enough to make the playoffs. They then lost by 3 points in a last second FG to a team that’s supposedly so much better than them.

    If your gonna talk smack, at least get your facts straight.

  11. Can’t stand the 49ers either. Back at you. Your owner moved S.F.’s team to San Jose. S.F. supported their team for generations and the greedy owner ……. same old story. Max profits are more important than fan support and tradition. You’re the looser. Now in GB it’s a whole different story based on fan support and the love of the game. Not the love of profit. Go support your rotten, money grubbing, miser owner. And go away. We don’t like your post or opinion of our better team.

  12. Sucks for him, but let’s be honest … he was not a RB on this team. Lacy, Starks and Harris are all better. No place for him on this team really. Makes it an easier decision for the coaching staff. Buh-bye.

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