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Johnny Jolly’s neck injury is season-ending

Philadelphia Eagles  v Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 10: at Lambeau Field on November 10, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Gregory ShamusGetty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Gregory Shamus

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that defensive tackle Johnny Jolly’s neck injury was “significant,” and it’s significant enough to end his season.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jolly will miss the rest of the season because of a bulging disc in his neck (the C-5 vertebrae, to be specific). The team’s medical staff is waiting for the swelling to go down before deciding whether he needs surgery.

The injury isn’t believed to be career-threatening even if he needs fusion surgery. But he’s also 30 years old and a rotational lineman, so any medical setback will impact his chances of finding work.

“It hurts that he’s not being able to play, but he’ll bounce back,” end Ryan Pickett said. “We believe he’ll bounce back. If anyone can fight through anything, it’s Jolly. His spirits are good.

“He’s been a leader out there. He’s been playing great. He’s been a whole lot. We’re going to miss him out there for sure.”

Jolly’s comeback after three years out of the league because of drug suspensions, arrests and jail time was an impressive one, so the latest problem seems minor by comparison.