METAIRIE, La. ― Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and offensive guard Zach Strief were two of six players who didn’t participate in Monday’s first practice since New Orleans’ 36-21 win over the Chargers.
Vilma flew to Philadelphia to get a second opinion on a groin injury. Head Coach Sean Payton, however, said that they sent Vilma up there knowing that he wouldn’t be having surgery and that when he returned he would rehabilitate to try and return for the Sept. 9 season opener against Minnesota.
“Certainly he’ll be out this week,” Payton said of Vilma. “I think that we’re optimistic that he’s going to be able to start up practice when we get going Sunday of next week. But we’re going to have to spend a lot of time here in the next six days, seven days of treatment and all the things necessary.
Meanwhile, tight end Jimmy Graham returned from a high right ankle sprain, going through position drills for the first time since injuring the ankle Aug. 12 in New Orleans’ preseason opener against New England.
Strief left the game late in the third with a knee injury and didn’t return. Additionally, strong safety Pierson Prioleau (right knee) sat out as well.
Payton said both were coming along well in their rehab.
Linebacker Stanley Arnoux (right ankle) missed practice again, having sat out every practice since the game against the Patriots.
Free safety Darren Sharper (left knee) and linebacker Clint Ingram (left knee) both remained on the PUP list and off the field.