The Washington Post

Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly sentenced to six years in prison

Johnny Jolly tearfully makes a statement. (David J. Phillip / AP)

Jolly, 28, has been suspended by the NFL since the 2009 offseason. Last month, he was arrested for the third time in three years. This time, he was charged with possession of codeine and tampering with evidence in Houston. The arrest violated a probation he had been given in April in a deal that erased a previous charge and kept him out of prison. He was sentenced in a Houston courtroom after an emotional plea.

Jolly was a starter for the Packers in 2008 and 2009 but missed all of a season that included a Super Bowl victory.

In an interview with ESPN’s Mark Fainaru-Wada, he said he used drugs “daily” before the Super Bowl. “Every time I even thought about the game coming on. I mean, that's the only way I could make it through the day.

“It kept me numb. It kept me from losing my mind. Me losing football is like me losing a loved one or a bunch of loved ones at the same time.”

Jolly did not miss a game in 2008 and 2009 and going to zero games played was difficult.

“I didn't want to be around anyone," Jolly said. "I didn't want to answer no questions. And so I stayed in the room, just drunk, and watched.”

Jolly is expected to be eligible for parole in 14 months. 

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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