Over the weekend, Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was arrested for the fourth time on drug charges. On Tuesday, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke out in support of Jolly, who has been indefinitely suspended by the league.
“It’s just disappointing,” Rodgers told Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “And I’ll be honest, I think the league deserves some of the blame in this case. When you look at some of the other guys that have been reinstated in the league after jail sentences, and justly, rightly so, Johnny didn’t serve any days in prison, sat out for a year and still couldn’t get his case heard, from what I was told. I just think that that’s wrong. . . . I think the Commissioner’s done a great job of cleaning up some of the stuff in the league. That said, if you take a guy away from his support system . . . I don’t think that’s helping.”
Because the league attempts to maintain confidential on matters of this nature, it’s unclear why Jolly has been suspended indefinitely. It’s possible that he tested positive for a banned recreational drug while in Stage 3 of the substance abuse program. It’s possible that he failed to show up for a test while in Stage 3. It’s possible that he otherwise failed to comply with the terms of his treatment plan while in Stage 3. Unless the league provides the details (it can’t) or Jolly chooses to do so (to date, he hasn’t), there’s no way to know what specifically resulted in the suspension.
That said, Rodgers’ point is a valid one — and it’s one that his predecessor once made regarding former Packers receiver Koren Robinson. Banishing a guy from his team puts him in position to potentially get in trouble again. And that’s what happened to Jolly.
Still, there’s likely a lot more to the story. And the details may never surface.