The Packers are sorting out which of their free agents on the defensive line they want back next season and one member of that group’s neck surgery will factor into their decisions.
Johnny Jolly’s agent Jack Bechta said, via ESPN.com, Thursday that his client had fusion surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck over a month ago. Jolly’s 2013 season ended when he was placed on injured reserve in December with a neck injury.
According to Bechta, the surgery was between the C-5 and C-6 vertebrae. That’s generally less severe than fusion surgery higher in the neck, which is the one that led to safety Nick Collins’ release and has clouded tight end Jermichael Finley’s future. It still requires serious rehab. Safety Sean Richardson had the same surgery as Jolly last January and did not play until Week 12 of last season.
Jolly is expecting the same prognosis as Richardson, if not better. He’ll have an MRI to see how the recovery is going on March 11, the first day of free agency, and the results will likely determine what kind of job he lands for the 2014 season.