Johnny Jolly is back in the NFL. The defensive lineman reported to the Green Bay Packers and is participating in OTAs, according to FOX Sports Wisconsin. It's his first on-field action since being suspended four years ago.
Jolly, a sixth-round pick in 2006, hadn't played a game since the 2009 season, when a series of drug charges derailed his career. In 2008, he was arrested for possession of 200 grams of codeine. The league suspended him indefinitely in July 2010, forcing him to miss out on the Packers' Super Bowl championship run. In March of 2011, Jolly was arrested again for codeine possession and later sentenced to six years in prison for violating his probation. He was released six months later and placed on "shock probation" for 10 years.
"I just want to show everyone that I am a reliable person and I am trustworthy and responsible," he said. "I am willing to talk to kids and tell them about the things that I've went through, not only the kids but there might be other guys that might have a problem and I'd be able to talk to those guys as well.
"I am pretty sure a lot of guys have been through a lot of things, but I feel like I've got some experience with it, what I've been through. I can let these guys know ahead of time before they go down a road of destruction, to keep them on the right path.
"I just hope I can get a chance."
In Feb. 2013, Roger Goodell lifted Jolly's suspension. He was eligible to return to the Packers, having been under a restricted free-agent contract worth $2.52 million. He missed the first two weeks of OTAs while completing a drug rehab program.
Now 30 years old, clean and sober, Jolly is ready to continue his NFL career. He is still "going through the process," according to coach Mike McCarthy. The question now revolves around whether Jolly can still contribute to the team. Having not played a snap of football in almost four years, he will have an uphill battle to make a roster spot.