Saints activate Jonathan Vilma from IR, expected to play vs. Jets
Vilma has yet to appear in a game for the Saints this season. He was placed on the short-term injured reserve early in September after undergoing arthroscopic surgery this preseason. He returned to practice last week, and has looked in the sessions since. On Friday, Vilma declared that he was ready to go and the Saints’ medical staff seems to be on the same page with him.
"I know I'm feeling good running around, and I think I look good on film,” Vilma said earlier this week. “(General manager) Mickey (Loomis) and Sean both said they wanted to see me practice and see how I'm running around and take it from there.”
“It's a simple: OK, I've been running around, and I feel good running around. If they decide to activate me, then they activate me."
According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, all indications are that Wilma will be on the field Sunday since the Saints wouldn’t have put on the 53-man roster if they weren’t planning to play him against the Jets.
Vilma has been one of the more consistent linebackers in the league since he was drafted by the Jets in the first-round out of the University of Miami during 2004. After spending his first four season in New York, Vilma was traded to the New Orleans, where he started 68 games while notching 438 combined tackles, eight sacks and 21 passes defensed over the past six seasons.
Its’ likely the Saints will ease Vilma into the rotation for Roy Ryan’s defense, that has exceeded expectations through the first half of the season. The Saints’ defense has allowed the fourth-least points per game in the NFL during the first eight weeks this season. Veteran linebacker David Hawthrone also performed exceptionally well as the Saints’ starting linebacker during Vilma’s absence.
With Jonathan Vilma joining the active roster, the Saints cleared room for him by waiving cornerback Chris Carr on Saturday.
Meanwhile, defensive end Tyrunn Walker (knee) who was downgraded from questionable to out in the Saints’ injury report, after he did not make the trip to New York with the rest of the team for their Week 9 matchup against the Jets on Sunday.