The Saints may be losing one of their most valuable offensive players
for this Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, but one of their
defense's best is ready to play for the first time all season.
The Saints said Saturday that tight end Jimmy Graham will not play this
weekend, but linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been taken off the physically
unable to perform list and will suit up for the team Sunday.
Even if the defensive captain doesn't play Sunday, activating the three-time Pro-Bowler is step one.
Vilma, who was suspended for the entire season as part of the "Bountygate" scandal,
is in the process of appealing to
commissioner Roger Goodell. Vilma has requested that Goodell not be a part of the appeal, and the commissioner has assigned the task to his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue.
window to play this season could be small, with Tagliabue's decision likely to come before the Saints play the Broncos on Oct. 28.