RB Johnathan Franklin, Free agent
HT: 5-10, WT: 205, Born: 10-23-1989, College: UCLA, Drafted: Round 4
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2013 Game Summaries
Week 3 - The last man standing after James Starks left with a knee injury, Franklin also left the game on the last series while limping. While he topped 100 yards (the second game in a row where a Packers back has done so) he also coughed up the ball with just over four minutes to go in the fourth. On the play, Franklin went up the middle right into the gut of the defense, continuing to churn his legs and stay upright. However, defensive lineman Michael Johnson pawed at the ball and stripped it from the former UCLA running back. It was recovered by safety Reggie Nelson and returned for a touchdown. While Franklin's fumble essentially cost the Packers the game, he actually had a strong day, breaking off several long runs, as well as doing well in pass protection. On one carry Franklin ran the ball out to the right side on a toss but found the edge sealed off. He then cut back, avoiding a defender and turning upfield for an eight yard gain and a first down. Franklin showed great instincts on the play and good vision to see things close up but also see the opening available and make the play happen. Given the reports of poor performance in practices, it's good to see Franklin show the skills which were on display at UCLA when the lights came on. Still, with the likely return of Eddie Lacy, Franklin is probably going to see very little work over the next few weeks.
Week 5 - Franklin only saw action for a brief time in the second quarter before fumbling the ball for the second game in a rowóthough luckily this time it was recovered by Aaron Rodgers. In fairness, Lions rookie Ziggy Ansah nailed the ball directly with his helmet. That said, he wasnít holding the ball high and tight and it looked like it was primed for a strip anyway. Franklin never carried the ball again, so it limits the sample size there is to look at but on his few carries he really seemed a step slower and ran with less power. On his second carry, Franklin took a toss to the left side and looked incredibly slow getting to the line of scrimmage. It could be he was overthinking due to his game-losing fumble but even then, if that is a consistent problem, he wonít see the field all that often.
Week 6 - Since Eddie Lacy has returned, fellow rookie Jonathan Franklin hasnít had much opportunity to flash the talent he showed when Lacy was sidelined with a concussion. Even the few chances he had didnít amount to much to make any real judgment on. On his reception, Franklin made a nice recovery on a throw that seemed just a tad off and he was able to turn and gain extra yards, falling just short of the first. However, he literally fell after he was handed the ball on his other touch, slipped and fell down for a loss. It may take another injury to Lacy before we see Franklin get significant touches this season.
Week 7 - Franklinís first action was a long throw into the end zone from Aaron Rodgers on a wheel route which left his defender in the dust. Franklin was wide open but Rodgers didnít plant his feet and the throw sailed long. Had Franklin kept running, it would have been caught but he stopped and turned so the ball went long. The former UCLA Bruin had a nice run up the middle, hitting the hole quick and keeping his feet moving so he could gain an extra yard after he was hit. Other than that, Franklin was relatively quiet and his presence on the field for just six snaps points towards the reality that if Lacy is healthy, Franklin isnít getting much work.