Vilma was suspended for the season because of his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal. The suspension was vacated on a technicality and reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Vilma has appealed, as have present teammate Will Smith and past teammates Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita. All received suspensions of varying lengths and are eligible to play until the league rules on the appeals, which is likely to take place Oct. 23 (via ESPN).
“I’ll be allowed to practice, I’ll be allowed to play versus Tampa Bay,” said Vilma (via WVUE-TV).
Vilma has had three procedures on his left knee since last November and was placed on the PUP list during the second week of the season and has had several procedures on his knee, including platelet-rich plasma therapy in Germany.
“I’m feeling good, feeling good,” Vilma said. “I know that the media hasn’t seen much of me for a while, but I’ve actually been working out, working hard, training hard so I can get to this point to be able to give our team a chance to win in Tampa Bay.”
Vilma’s lawyers filed a motion today in a New Orleans court to vacate his suspension and “put a halt to the ongoing and fundamentally unfair treatment” by Goodell. The motion also seeks appointment of a neutral arbitrator, rather than Goodell.