On Thursday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that second-year running back Johnathan Franklin "would not be back with us" after he suffered a serious neck injury in Week 12. By Friday, the team made it official, releasing Franklin.
"It's never easy releasing a player, but it's especially difficult when a young man's opportunity is taken away from him because of an injury,” general manager Ted Thompson said via the team's website. “Johnathan is a great person, a wonderful teammate, and a man that lives by his faith. The Packers are fortunate to have had the chance to work with him and we know that he will excel in whatever the future holds for him. He will always be a member of the Packers family.”
Packers teammate Datone Jones, who was also recruited by UCLA with Franklin, was shocked by the 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 the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Mike Vandermause. “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.”
Franklin posted this message to Twitter Thursday.
Franklin was selected by the Packers in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He ends his career in Green Bay with 107 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.