Jolly's arrest could haunt Packers

Will defensive tackle get suspended for a portion of the season?

Flying under the radar of the Brett Favre-Green Bay Packers saga is a matter that might haunt the defense this season. Defensive tackle Johnny Jolly was arrested July 8 in Houston and later charged with possessing at least 200 grams of codeine, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Jolly was freed July 9 after posting $10,000 bail, according to court records. He could face up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. He is scheduled to be back in court for an arraignment July 22.

Prosecutors may or may not pursue charges of intent to distribute the drug. The charge could change after a grand jury decides whether there is probable cause to go forward in the case, prosecutors said.

If Jolly is found guilty of possessing the drugs, there is a good chance that he may be suspended by the National Football League for at least four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

If that's the case, the Packers will be missing a key figure in the middle of the line.

Jolly started at defensive tackle to open the 2007 season. He played in the first 10 games with seven starts, but then sustained a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the rest of the season. He underwent shoulder surgery in early December.

According to Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon, officers of a specialized unit were patrolling a parking lot of a nightclub known for narcotics and weapons violations when they approached Jolly's vehicle at 1:10 a.m. July 8 at 3409 Cavalcade St. on Houston's near north side.

Police heard loud music coming from the vehicle and saw four people inside. When asked if there weapons inside, the driver said yes. Police found a semi-automatic pistol on the floorboards. A 21-year-old man was charged with misdemeanor unlawful carrying of a weapon. Police detected the odor of codeine and found a couple of cups of codeine inside the vehicle.

During a search, police found a bag of marijuana on a 22-year-old man, who was charged with misdemeanor possessing marijuana. A fourth person was released and not charged.

According to the report, it appears that Jolly is guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If he is charged and convicted of the drug possession, uncertainty with his future on the team and the defensive will grow.

With Corey Williams in Cleveland and Justin Harrell coming off an offseason back injury and unproven, the Packers would be wise to do all they can to sign or trade for another veteran defensive lineman.

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