New Orleans Saints logoNew Orleans Saints

Jonathan Vilma Says He Will Play for Saints in Week 7 vs. Buccaneers

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 09:  Jonathan Vilma #51 of the New Orleans Saints walks on the field during a timeout in the game against the Washington Redskins during the season opener at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2012

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has announced that he will come off the physically unable to perform list this week and play in the team's Week 7 divisional matchup versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vilma broke the news in an interview with WVUE-TV on Sunday night, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter via Twitter:

Jonathan Vilma told WVUE-TV that he will come off the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday and play Sunday vs. Tampa Bay.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2012

 

UPDATE: Monday, Oct. 15 at 2:25 p.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

The Times-Picayune's Larry Holder reported via Twitter on Monday that Saints interim head coach Aaron Kromer wouldn't confirm whether Jonathan Vilma has been taken off the PUP list:

Kromer wouldn't say that Vilma would be taken off the PUP list.

— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) October 15, 2012

---End of Update---

 

Vilma was put on the PUP list because of a bum knee shortly after a panel overruled his season-long suspension by the NFL in connection with the Saints' infamous bounty scandal. 

The 30-year-old veteran has not played since Jan. 14, 2012, when the Saints lost 36-32 to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs at Candlestick Park. 

Vilma missed five regular season games last season because of his knee injury and is hopeful that he has put it behind him (via The Times-Picayune's Larry Holder):

I'm feeling good, feeling good. 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.

Without Vilma, the Saints defense has been dreadful thus far in 2012. New Orleans ranks 26th in the league against the pass and 31st against the run. The Saints also rank third worst in the NFL in scoring defense after six weeks, allowing nearly 31 points per game. 

As a team, New Orleans hasn't been much better.

Struggling to adapt to their harsh bounty penalties, which included a season-long suspension for head coach Sean Payton, the Saints got off to an 0-4 start, finally getting in the win column in Week 5 against the San Diego Chargers.

The Buccaneers and Saints split the season series a year ago, with both teams winning at home. Tampa is 2-3 and coming off a big win over the Kansas City Chiefs, while New Orleans is coming off a bye in Week 6.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices