NFL Suspends Packers’ Johnny Jolly for Substance Abuse

Green Bay Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly has been suspended without pay for at least the 2010 football season by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Jolly’s suspension begins immediately and continues through the 2010 season. Jolly will be eligible to apply for reinstatement after the Super Bowl in 2011.

Johnny Jolly was arrested after over 200 grams of codeine were found in his possession out of a club in Houston, Texas in July 2008. A suspension from the NFL is the least of Jolly’s worries. If he is convicted of these drug possession charges by the court he could face up to 20 years in prison.

“Johnny is a good player that loves everything about the game of football,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement. “We appreciate the contributions he has made to the Packers the past four seasons. His focus and priorities now lie elsewhere — our thoughts are with him during this difficult personal time.”

“There’s a lot going on, and he needs to focus and make sure he has everything in line,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said last month. “These decisions that are going to be made legally will affect every aspect of his life, most importantly his personal life and then his professional life.”

“If this stuff doesn’t cause you to change, what will?” defensive lineman Ryan Pickett said. “All this stuff he’s going through — you’re missing practice, you can’t be around your teammates, that’ll make you feel isolated from the team. So if this stuff doesn’t change, then that’s an issue. I’m expecting him to be changed by this experience, definitely.”

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