Just yesterday we discussed how the neck injury Johnathan Franklin's suffered midway through the 2013 season might prevent him from participating this year. Evidently, not only is Franklin missing 2014, but his NFL career is also over.
Obviously, this is an unfortunate development for the young man who at one time appeared to be in the driver's seat for the starting tailback job. As we've learned from so many other cases of neck injury -- Sterling Sharpe, Nick Collins, and Jermichael Finley chief among them -- there are no guarantees for a successful recovery.
As far as the Packers are concerned, losing Franklin won't dramatically impact their plans this season. Eddie Lacy and James Starks remain the top two backs expected to handle the majority of the workload. DuJuan Harris has looked strong coming off an injury of his own, and now is in prime position to reclaim a roster spot.
Yet that doesn't numb the disappointment from the Franklin news. Whether you had high hopes for him or not coming out of college, you only heard great things about him as a person. He fought his way out of a rough part of Los Angeles to become a team captain at UCLA. It stinks that following all that work, Franklin's NFL career ends after one year and 11 games.