METAIRIE, La. — The Saints will get a big emotional boost Sunday against NFC South rival Tampa Bay after the team announced Saturday that embattled linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been bumped to the 53-man active roster.
The move softens the blow somewhat of losing tight end Jimmy Graham for the game. Graham missed Wednesday’s practice and then was limited both Thursday and Friday with a sprained right ankle. The team said he won’t make the trip to Florida.
But the biggest news is that Vilma is well enough to be put on the roster from the physically unable to perform list. To make room on the roster, the Saints cut receiver Greg Camarillo.
When Vilma practiced Wednesday, it was the first time he went through football drills since the playing against San Francisco in the NFC divisional playoffs in January. Since then, he has had surgery to repair his injured left knee. He also has flown to Europe for a procedure.
Vilma was suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the season in May and his first appeal was heard in June. Goodell upheld the suspension in July but a three-member appeals panel overturned the suspension in early September.
Goodell then re-suspended Vilma in early October and the linebacker immediately appealed.