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End of Franklin's career sobering for teammates

Jun. 19, 2014
 
Green Bay Packers running backs Eddie Lacy (27) and Johnathan Franklin (23) work together during training camp last July. File/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers running backs Eddie Lacy (27) and Johnathan Franklin (23) work together during training camp last July. File/Press-Gazette Media

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy got the bad news via text.

Jonathan Franklin's football career has been ruled over by doctors due to a neck injury, and the second-year player told his fellow running backs the news in a text message.

"We were definitely sad," 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."

Lacy was drafted in the second round in 2013, and Franklin followed in the fourth round. After rushing for more than 100 yards in the second half against Cincinnati in Week 3 last season, Franklin's playing time was extremely limited. He injured his neck on a kickoff return against Minnesota Nov. 24 and was eventually placed on injured reserve.

Franklin said on Twitter that he has been ruled out from playing in the NFL again.

"First off I would like to thank everyone who supported me upon getting to this part of my life (it) has been a tremendous blessing," Franklin said his statement. "Unfortunately this week I have been ruled out of returning for the 2014/15 season and returning to play in the NFL. But I understand God knows what he is doing and for now he has another platform for me to step upon. I ask that you all pray for me during this transition, I will stay strong and keep my peace through Christ because he is my guider. But thank you all And God Bless"

Lacy added: "From talking to him and still being around him, he has a great personality. Heís going to be down a little bit but thatís just any player. Heís definitely going to remain positive and keep his faith, so I know no matter what he does after this heís going to give his all."

Packers defensive lineman Datone Jones committed to UCLA with Franklin in high school and spoke with him soon after the decision was made.

"I talked to him and he said I keep my faith first. I believe if this wasnít it, it was a sign from God that I may have to pursue something else in life," Jones said. "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, heís one of my good friends Iíve known since high school. I know how much we worked for it, even this offseason, how much we worked for it. Itís tough to see it end this way for a guy like that."

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