Johnny Jolly

Hey, did you hear? Johnny Jolly is back with the Green Bay Packers.

It only took three years, an NFL suspension, a prison term, probation and rehab to get this guy on the straight and narrow and he’s now back in Green Bay, where he will surely cure all of what ails the Packers defensive line.

Seriously though, swell story. The Packers welcomed Jolly back for the first time since he was reinstated by the league, on Tuesday, their first day of mandatory minicamp. Jolly hadn’t participated in OTAs because he was finishing up a treatment program. He’s says he’s been off codeine — the drug he got busted for three times — for 19 months.

Prison has a way of sobering a guy up.

“I feel great. It’s a blessing to have a second chance,” he said Tuesday afternoon after the Packers completed the first day of minicamp. “I take my hat off to the Packers. That showed a lot, them accepting me after everything I had been through.”

Sure. And there’s really no reason the Packers shouldn’t have brought Jolly back.

When he last played for them in 2009, he was one of the team’s best defensive linemen. Jolly is now 30, but the Packers are only paying him $710,000 this season. So why not see what he can do?

Jolly’s biggest challenge will be getting back into football shape and knocking off the rust. If he can do that, why the hell can’t he make the team?

The Packers don’t exactly have a bunch of world beaters on the defensive line.

For now, it sounds like Jolly is pretty happy just to be on the practice field and not in the clink.

“It was excellent. I’m out there laughing and joking with the guys, it just felt like I never left. It was just like, man, this is a relief. Oh my God, I’m back on the field, practicing with the dudes I love to play ball with. It was great.”

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