After missing three seasons from the NFL, defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has finally battled back onto this year’s Green Bay Packers squad. A recent article written by Gregg Rosenthal of nfl.com, coupled with an interview of Jolly by Andrea Kremer, sheds light on his battle back to the gridiron.
On Nov. 17, 2011, espn.com published an article from the Associated Press saying Jolly had received a six-year prison sentence for “violating terms of his probation for a drug conviction. Then after serving just six months, Jolly was released on probation.
In February, Jolly was reinstated into the NFL and after a good training camp and an impressive preseason made the final cuts on the Packers’ 53-man roster. Jolly was an impact player on the Packers defense, starting in every game in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. In these two seasons Jolly amassed a total of 88 combined tackles with one sack and one forced fumble. Along with these tackles Jolly also had an impressive one-handed interception against the Bears in 2009, on opening night in Green Bay.
Despite not starting every game this season, this “Jolly Green Giant” has recorded 11 combined tackles, which is tied for most tackles by a defensive lineman on this 2013 Packers’ defense. In addition to those 11 combined tackles, Jolly has also recorded one sack.
There is no doubt it has been great to see Jolly turn his life around and get a second chance. Hopefully, he will continue to be a leader on the Packers’ defensive line against the Browns on Sunday.