Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/29/13
The feel-good portion of the Johnny Jolly story ended Sunday when they put the pads on for the first time at Ray Nitschke Field. Jolly has returned to the Green Bay Packers attempting to resurrect his life and his career after three years of suspension imprisonment and drug rehabilitation. Just as Jolly did June 4 after the initial practice back with his old team he was cordial and remorseful speaking with reporters in front of the same locker that was last his during the 2009 season. Jolly had just completed his first workout in pads against National Football League offensive linemen since the wild-card playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals in January 2010. "It was great" said Jolly. "I haven't had contact in three years. Man it's just a blessing." Packers President Mark Murphy general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy placed the organization at some risk by inviting Jolly back. The financial risk — $715000 minimum salary ($383000 if he winds up on injured reserve) no guaranteed money — is nil. The gamble on the part of the Packers is that Jolly would relapse and bring embarrassment and shame upon the organization. As understanding and humane as the Packers have been with Jolly they always have and always will be in the business of winning football games. They're altruistic...to a point. Jolly is back in jersey No. 97 to help the Packers win. "If the Packers didn't feel I could do that I wouldn't be here" Jolly said evenly. "I'm not going to get into if they know it or not." Jolly went on to say that "it's just football. Those are things we're trained to do punching and getting off a block. I'm just going to continue doing what I'm doing and try to make this team." He turned 30 in February a man who abused his body for years and let his weight balloon so high during his dark times that he wouldn't say what he weighed then or what he weighs now. Other than that Jolly didn't duck any of the approximately 50 questions that were machine-gunned his way.
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