Johnathan Franklin 's football career is over at age 24. The UCLA product is being forced into retirement due to a neck injury that ended his rookie season in November. The specifics of the neck injury have not been made public.
"First off I would like to thank everyone who has supported me to getting to this part of my life is [sic] has been a tremendous blessing," Franklin said in a statement released via his personal Twitter feed on Thursday. "Unfortunately this week I have been ruled out of returning for the 2014/15 NFL season and returning to play in the NFL."
A fourth-round pick in 2013, Franklin struggled last season in myriad areas, most notably in hanging on to the football and pass protection. He accumulated just 19 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Nothing else you can really say other than this is just awful news. Franklin looked like an all-around great back as a senior at UCLA and a nifty dynasty grab. Especially with worries that surrounded Eddie Lacy's feet entering last year's draft, some thought Franklin would be the Packers' long-term starter before long. Even if that prediction was far off the mark, this is far too early of an exit for a man with Franklin's talents. I wish nothing but the best for him going forward.