Over the weekend, any number of outlets covering the Green Bay Packers reported free agent defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has been cleared by doctors to return to action.
According to Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette:
Jolly's agent, Jack Bechta, told Press-Gazette Media on Friday his client has been cleared by his doctors from his C-5/C-6 spinal fusion surgery and is just waiting for a call.
Taking things one step further, Justin Felder of Fox 11 in Green Bay reported, "Jolly’s agent Jack Bechta tells FOX 11 Jolly’s doctors in Chicago say the lineman can return to football and is cleared for full contact once training camp starts."
It's perhaps surprising that Jolly has been cleared for full contact considering the cautious stance the Packers took with safety Sean Richardson a year ago, a player that also had spinal-fusion surgery between his C-5 and C-6 vertebrae.
It took the Packers about 12 months from the point of Richardson's injury in November of 2012 to activating him off the Physically Unable to Perform list in November of 2013.
Jolly reportedly experienced weakness in his arm late last season before playing the final game of his season Dec. 15 against the Dallas Cowboys. He had surgery Jan. 10.
It's worth noting that like fellow injured free agent Jermichael Finley, just because's Jolly's own personal doctor has cleared him for contact does not mean the doctors of the Packers or any other NFL team have to clear Jolly.
Finley was cleared by his doctor in May and still hasn't been signed.
The Packers are under no obligation to either clear Jolly or sign him, however, they do have one spot open on their 90-man offseason roster after injured running back Johnathan Franklin was released a little over a week ago.
There's been no report whether the Packers have scheduled to bring Jolly in for a medical examination.
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