Packers' Johnathan Franklin accepts blame for game-losing fumble vs. Bengals

John Grieshop

Johnathan Franklin had 103 yards in his NFL debut, but he also committed the most crucial mistake of the game, losing a fumble to cost the Packers the win.

Green Bay Packers running back Johnathan Franklin was thrown into the fire in Week 3. When James Starks went down with a knee injury, the Packers turned to the rookie as the only active back on the roster.

Franklin answered the challenge well, racking up 103 yards on 13 carries and scoring his first NFL touchdown. However, his biggest play was also his biggest mistake, one that cost the Packers the game. On a fourth-and-1, Franklin fumbled the ball at the line of scrimmage. Terence Newman picked it up and went 58 yards for the touchdown, sealing the comeback win for the Bengals.

After the game, Franklin accepted the blame for the loss and says he has to improve his ball security. From the Packers' official website:

"I've got to hold it high and tight," said Franklin, who lost control of the ball trying to jump over the pile for the first down. "I was trying to make a play and everything, and I know the game was on the line right there. I've got to get better. I can't do that."

"It's life. Me, you, everybody, we're always learning. Every day," Franklin said. "You've always got to go. If you aren't moving forward you're moving backwards. I just have to understand why certain things happen and grow from it and take a step. We've got a long season. Hopefully I'm blessed with another opportunity, and I have to continue to work."

The Packers drafted Franklin in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He fell down the depth chart after a rough preseason, but was the last man to turn to after the injury bug hit the backfield. Eddie Lacy was out with a concussion and the extent of Starks' injury is not known. Lacy is expected to return after the Packers' Week 4 bye.

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