It’s been two years since Johnny Jolly last played in the NFL. After multiple drug possession arrests and convictions as he fought a codeine addiction, Jolly sat in a jail cell last November facing another 6 years in prison. Having received some breaks from the judicial system previously, Jolly would receive what will hopefully prove to be the biggest break of his life.
In May, Jolly asked for and was granted “shock probation” by a Houston judge. Shock probation can be granted to first-time prison attendees who can convince the judge that they’s been sufficiently “shocked” or “scared straight.” Jolly was re-sentenced to ten years probation and released.
Soon after, in early June, Jolly applied to the NFL for reinstatement and has heard nothing since. Of course NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been busy dealing with some other minor distractions, namely Bountygate and the concussion lawsuits. But if Jolly wishes to have a chance to play this season, whether with the Packers (who still hold his rights) or another team, he needs to get into a training camp sooner rather than later.
For his part, Jolly talks of being eight months sober and how he has finally taken the steps to evaluate his life and find the right group of people to help him. A cynic might say that we’ve heard this kind of talk before, but has his stay in prison coated those words with a new layer of truth?