Packers Free Agent Receives Medical Clearance All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Packers DL Johnny Jolly
Free agent defensive lineman Johnny Jolly takes the first step to a return to football following neck surgery

Free agent defensive lineman Johnny Jolly sent out a tweet early Tuesday that indicated that he has been medically cleared to start working out following neck fusion surgery in early January.

Jolly needed the procedure to repair a bulging disc in his neck between the C-5 and C-6 vertebrae.  Currently, he is a free agent and as of 4pm EST today, is free to sign with any team.  No reports about any interest from the Packers, or any team, for that matter, have surfaced so far.

It is not yet known when Jolly would potentially receive clearance to return to football activity.  Whenever that is will likely be when we start to hear about teams’ interest in Jolly.

Here we are again, talking about a neck fusion procedure on a one-time Packers player who could potentially return, if he is cleared.  Besides Jolly, Jermichael Finley and Sean Richardson have both undergone neck fusion surgeries of their own in the past few years.

Finley has not yet been cleared to return to football activity but is expected to meet with interested teams soon.  Richardson returned late last season.  Former Packers safety Nick Collins had neck surgery in 2011 and is still trying to return to the game he loves.

By now, the Packers should be experts in the timeline and recovery of football players from such a procedure.  Still, every player is unique in how they heal.  Finley’s injury was to the same area of the neck as Collins.  The Packers felt it was too risky to bring Collins back and he was released shortly thereafter.  Jolly’s surgery was lower on his neck, which would seemingly increase his chances of being cleared and reduce his risk of re-injury.  This was the case with Richardson as well.

Jolly’s return to the NFL and the Packers last season was one of the bigger “feel good” stories of the 2013 season.  After missing three full seasons due to a suspension for drug use, Jolly cracked the Packers roster and provided valuable depth on the defensive line.

With the Packers potentially parting ways with some of their other defensive linemen, Jolly could become a viable option to bring back if he does, in fact, gain clearance to play again.  B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson are all currently unrestricted free agents and their return to the Packers is not certain.

Here is Jolly’s earlier tweet:



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18 thoughts on “Packers Free Agent Receives Medical Clearance

  1. You gotta cheer for the guy, but personally I don’t really see have as anything more than “serviceable” as a player. He’s nothing close to a “must re-sign.”

    Hope he does well, though.

  2. I hope he recovers sufficiently for football action and gets re-signed by the Packers.

    1. I’m with you JimR_in_DC. Been cheering for Jolly before his problem came to surface, when he was arrested and in jail, and his long journey back, repairing the damage caused by addiction.

  3. Would look to be a low deal with him understanding the ‘PUP’ list awaits him with a hope of contribution later in the season when/if he has anything to offer up.

  4. Let’s see, if Grandpa Ted was willing to pay Shields, an average CB, $10MM/yr he must certainly be willing to pay J Byrd, the top S in free agency $9MM/yr.

    Byrd and Ware and the Pack is instantly a real threat for the SB again. Of course, that assumes a good defensive draft as well.

    1. Archie, that would make too much sense. Remember we are talking about pinhead Ted.

    2. Ware would be nothing more than a pass rush specialist. I admit, the Packers could use him but at what price. We all knew this would happen. All the Players we HOPED TT would look at, signed with other teams. Yes it sucks to watch other teams get better. A team like the Broncos with Peyton Manning making $15 million against the Cap, can still sign Talib, Ward, and still have several on their radar, every year.

      Ted is going to sign his own. Sam Shields contract was a good contract for the Packers. If Sam was to to suddenly get lazy, stop progressing once he got paid, the Packers could release him with little costs to them after year 2 of the contract. For example Archie, the Bears may have signed Houston but have $8.4 million in dead cap space for Peppers.

      It’s tough to watch the FA period as a Packers fan with TT at the helm. Watching all these “Big Names” signing with other teams. Ted T is not going to change!

      Keep in mind TT main objective this year was to keep Shields, sign Nelson and Cobb to extentions, and MAYBE sign a player here or there once the dust settles. The Packers can still be a much better team with several of the FA out there. I’ve been screaming for Chris Clemons, he’s still out there as are several others. Lets wait and see what happens by the end of Free Agency.

  5. Johnny jolly better be back, little risk, potential reward.

    Another subject: jarius Byrd just signed for an average of 9 mil a year with the saints. Lesser average than Sam Shields. Am I the only one really pissed off right now??

    1. Shields’ deal is MUCH more cap friendly, and the 12.5 million signing bonus is the only guaranteed money in the whole contract. Byrd got 28 million guaranteed – more than double what Shields got.

      For the life of me, I don’t know why people continue to look at nothing more than a simple yearly average. By now we should all know that yearly average does not mean anything at all. Zero.

      Corners always get more than safeties anyway. 28 year old Aqib Talib just signed with Denver for 6 years 57 million, with 26 million guaranteed.

      Like that contract better?

  6. Chad, I’m upset about the Byrd signing , too. A pro bowl, intelligent, physical safety who can cover and completely play center field like nick Collins did. He’s young and a proven free safety. Exactly what this team needs so bad. If we move Hyde or Draft a safety, it’s learning on the job. With Byrd, we are set for years.Ted Thompson sucks.

  7. He looked good because he was playing with a bunch of losers. The guys is over the hill and should retire. I wouldn’t pay him anything over the required minimum for his time in the league which is probably more than he is worth. I am thinking that the packers will field the same bunch of losers this season as last so Rodgers better load up his cannon because they are going to have to score on every series.

  8. I for one am glad Byrd is gone. The team that saw him every day didn’t think he was worth his asking price. The Packers have some highly paid stars and now they need value. You don’t get value at the beginning of free agency.

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