Jun 11, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Johnny Jolly works out during organized team activities at Clarke Hinkle Field in Green Bay. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Packers Johnny Jolly returns to field after 2009 drug arrest in preseason against Arizona Cardinals


Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly’s NFL career appeared to be over when he was suspended by the NFL and sent to prison on drug charges. Out of the game since 2009, Jolly faced an uphill battle upon his release being away from football for so long and needing anyone to give him a second chance just to show his worth.

Jolly decided to turn his life around in prison, got another shot with Green Bay, and made his redeeming return to the National Football League on Friday when he played against the Arizona Cardinals, his first NFL action since 2009.

Jolly nearly gave himself a moment to remember in his return, narrowly missing Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton for what would have been his first sack in his return to football. Still, even with the missed sack, Jolly fit his last name postgame after returning to football for the first time.

“I can’t explain the feeling that it was, but it was an awesome feeling,” Jolly said to ProFootballTalk. “It’s been three long years, and now I’m back here. I’m just going to continue to push.”

Jolly is on the fringe to make Green Bay’s eventual 53 man roster, but the Packers appear to be giving a handful of players a second chance this preseason with Vince Young also looking to make the team, perhaps Jolly will also be given another chance at being an NFL regular in Green Bay. For now Jolly’s return is a feel good story about a man making something out of himself after prison, only time will tell if he can get himself back to where he was before he threw it all away not too long ago. It is definitely a developing story to watch coming out of Packers camp.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals Green Bay Packers Johnny Jolly NFL NFL Preseason