Vilma off PUP List; May Start at Tampa Bay on Sunday


Oct 16, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma (51) during warm up drills before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE

After eight months, three procedures, two countries, and an off-season of off and on suspension, middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma may be getting back on the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Vilma has been rehabbing a left knee injury he sustained in November 2011 that forced him to miss five games during the 2011 regular season.

Since last year he has received treatment from New Orleans Saints trainers and even traveled to Germany for a blood spinning procedure.

Since the season started and the suspended players were allowed to play, Vilma has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list and kept a relatively low media profile.

"I’m feeling good, feeling good. 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. – Jonathan Vilma via"

Vilma is expected to be off of the PUP list as early as Tuesday and begin practicing with the rest of the team.

There has been no word on if Vilma will be activated to play against the Buccaneers, as New Orleans Saints staff want to see how he moves around in practice during the week before making a decision.

The NFL suspended Vilma for the remainder of the year last week but he has since appealed the decision. He will be allowed to play until the appeals hearing, most likely the Tuesday after their away game against the Buccaneers.