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Packers put Franklin on IR; promote ILB Aiyewa

Nov. 27, 2013
 
Green Bay Packers running back Johnathan Franklin returns a kickoff in the first quarter of the Packers' 26-26 tie Sunday with the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Kyle Bursaw/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers running back Johnathan Franklin returns a kickoff in the first quarter of the Packers' 26-26 tie Sunday with the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Kyle Bursaw/Press-Gazette Media

Johnathan Franklinís up-and-down rookie season with the Green Bay Packers is over.

The Packers placed rookie running back on injured reserve on Wednesday to open a roster spot for inside linebacker Victor Aiyewa, who was signed off the practice squad.

Franklin suffered a concussion and neck injury on the opening kickoff of Sundayís 26-26 tie with the Minnesota and the Packers were going to be without a backup inside linebacker with Jamari Lattimore being ruled out with a quad injury.

The third and final of the Packersí fourth-round picks in Aprilís draft, Franklin endured a quiet preseason and didnít play meaningful snaps until James Starks endured a knee injury against Cincinnati on Sept. 22.

Franklin had 13 carries for 103 yards in the game, including a 51-yarder, but fumbled the ball near the end of the game, which was returned for a touchdown in the 34-30 loss to the Bengals.

The Packers went back to Franklin in their next game against Detroit, but he fumbled again and was pulled out. He finishes his rookie year with 19 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Although Franklin hasn't been playing much, the Packers are now down to three running backs - Eddie Lacy, James Starks and John Kuhn - on the active roster, though they also have rookie Orwin Smith on the practice squad.

A 6-foot-1, 237-pound first-year player out of the University of Washington, Aiyewa entered the NFL as a non-drafted free agent with Tampa Bay in July 2011 and spent time with the Buccaneers during training camp that season.

Signed to the Packersí practice squad on Oct. 15, Aiyewa will serve as the primary backup to A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones.

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