Johnny Jolly may never play another down in the National Football League, but he passed an important test toward making that happen.
The former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman graduated from a court-ordered drug treatment program in Houston on Wednesday, and will rejoin the team with the hopes of resuming his NFL career. He'll join the team for OTA's beginning next week, according to multiple reports.
"(Judge Denise Bradley has) seen something in me," Jolly told WBAY-TV in Green Bay. "Even though she gave me the sentence, she saw something in me. Today I stand here a free man. My life is going great. I'm back with my team, the Packers. I just want to thank her. She's done a really good thing for me. That was a blessing."
Jolly hasn't played in the NFL since 2009, after he was suspended indefinately by Commissioner Roger Goodell for his multiple drug arrests. He's remained clean and completed the program. He was reintstated March 4, 2013.
"I don't know anyone who sat out three years and was able to go back to the same team," Jolly said. "I met with the Packers a couple of weeks ago. They understand my situation and are willing to be there for me, so I'm just doing everything I can to be in shape and do everything I need to do for my team."