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Packers not commenting on Jolly's possible return

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was unavailable today, according to a team spokesman who said the organization likely would continue its policy of not commenting any matters related to suspended defensive lineman Johnny Jolly. The National Football Post, which is co-owned by Jolly's agent Jack Bechta, posted details of an extensive interview with Jolly done by contributor Brad Biggs, who covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune. In the interview, Jolly said he is subjected to "regular drug tests" and has been attending "extensive meetings" in an effort to stay clean. The 29-year-old Jolly hasn't played in the NFL since the 2009 season. He was arrested several times for possession of codeine -- known on the street as "purple drink" -- and was suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell just two weeks before training camp in 2010. A month earlier, Jolly signed a one-year, $2.521 million deal, a contract that still ties him to the Packers if he's able to come off the reserve/suspended list. Jolly's previous agent, Brian Overstreet, told the Press-Gazette that his client applied for reinstatement the day after the Packers won Super Bowl XLV -- a game Jolly told Biggs he watched while high on purple drink. “That was most heavy feeling to watch those guys, that was bad,” Jolly said. “I sat there, it was like, ‘Man, I don’t understand. There is no way I shouldn’t be out there helping those guys go to war.’ They came out with the victory and I was so happy for them.” Less than two months later, Jolly was arrested again. This time, he was sentenced to six years in prison but was released a month ago under a program the Texas court system calls "shock probation." “It was very hard and painful being in jail,” Jolly said in the interview. “Being away from your family, it hurt me bad. Everyone looks up to you is like … it hurts them too. It’s so hard to adjust. But when I was in there I learned that I had to find out who my real friends was, to sit down and go over myself and examine myself and see who I really was.” While incarcerated, Jolly said he was allowed to work out twice a day -- and three times after daylight savings began. In a ESPN interview in late 2011, Jolly looked significantly overweight. “I’m in pretty good shape,” Jolly told Biggs. “I would like to lose about 10 pounds. I’m probably at 332 right now, about seven pounds over my playing weight. I feel good. I am strong. My wind is up. I’m healthy and my body feels great.” It's not immediate known when Goodell will rule on Jolly's reinstatement. League spokesman Greg Aiello didn't immediately respond to a message. UPDATED (12:10 p.m.): Aiello sent the following email response when asked when Goodell will rule on Jolly's reinstatement: "We don't comment on such a player's status. If reinstatement of a suspended player takes place in the drug program, we would announce that action, but nothing prior to it."      

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