Head coach Sean Payton did little to quell the rumors that pro bowl middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma had surgery to repair his bum left knee, which he originally injured in week two against the Chicago Bears.
Instead Payton offered a time table for his return — the week twelve game against the New York Giants – saying that his “rehab” has gone well to this point and that they would re-evaluate his progress after the teams bye-week.
Vilma has missed three games this season because of the injury, most recently two consecutive against the Buccaneers and then Falcons, but luckily for the Saint his replacement Jo-Lonn Dunbar has played very well.
Strong safety Roman Harper has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday.
Harper totaled thirteen tackles, two of which were for a loss, and one sack. More impressively is that four of his tackles took place within five yards of the line of scrimmage.
Late in the fourth quarter he also nearly sealed the game for the Saints when he almost intercepted a pass intended for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez.