Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/6/12

Suspended Saints defensive end Will Smith is unlikely to be available for Sunday's opener in New Orleans.

Smith is one of four players, including free agent Anthony Hargrove, who were punished for their alleged involvement in the Saints' pay-for-performance "bounty" program.

The NFLPA filed a request for a temporary restraining order on behalf of Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and Hargrove earlier this week hoping to have their suspension repealed in time for Sunday's games. Smith issued a statement through the NFLPA on Thursday indicated he's not likely to be on the field Sunday against the Redskins.

"As we get closer to kickoff on Sunday, I am disappointed my playing status remains in limbo. I respect Judge Berrigan's order and my legal team has been diligent in responding," Smith said in the statement. "The NFLPA has represented the players in line with their valued role in serving a unique group of professionals, and we have been personally involved in every part of this process and there is no conflict of interest to speak of.

"Irreparable harm has already been levied on me and the players. We have been unfairly labeled and punished by this process. While we believe in mediation and settlement, the NFL has never expressed a genuine interest in a mediation process that would provide the players with a fair venue that could be trusted, nor made a settlement offer for us to professionally consider, at any time. That is why we have asked the court for just relief. It is my sincere hope to have this matter resolved as quickly as possible so I may return to my job, teammates and fans, as we take the field against the Redskins."

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