Kristian Quick Hits: Vilma in or out?
This week Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma participated in practice for the first time this season. The 21 day window to remove him from the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) has been set into motion. There are so many variables here. Vilma is currently appealing his reaffirmed season long suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The commissioner is expected to hear the appeals on Tuesday. The Saints did not make a corresponding roster move, so technically at this point Vilma would not be able to play Sunday against Tampa Bay. If they remove Vilma from the PUP list and place him on the active roster, that would be a sure sign that he'll be suited up for the game. Saints Interim Coach Aaron Kromer says, "We have three weeks to decide ( if to put Vilma on the active roster), all we can do is see how he practices this week, and see how we can work him in. From there make a decision on a weekly basis." If he doesn't play this week and presumably loses his appeal next week, however, unless a judge steps in... it looks like we may not see Vilma on the field this season.
Tight End Jimmy Graham (ankle) has been limited this week. This week WR Lance Moore (hamstring) practiced for the first time in two weeks. Defensive back Jabari Greer also returned to practice after leaving the Chargers game early in the second half with a groin injury. LB David Hawthorne (hamstring) missed practice time again. Hawthorne has not played since week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Defensive End Turk McBride (ankle) was back on the field this week. Kromer says the team is taking the right approach with Graham's ankle injury. "You know anytime you have an ankle, you want to slowly work your way back until game day."
Hard feelings for Nicks:
Former Saints offensive lineman Carl Nicks received a huge pay day from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during free agency. The Bucs made Nicks the highest paid guard in the NFL. "Everybody thinks it was about the money, but it really wasn't. The challenge here was to be something the Saints didn't look at me as, and that's being a premiere player and being a leader," Nicks said. He went on to say he has looked forward to this week's game against his former team for a while. "Mainly so I can play the guys and play the team that let me go," Nicks explained. "I don't hate anyone at the organization, they drafted me. I won a Super Bowl there. At the Same time they had (Ben)Grubbs in the same day free agency started. You can say I left, but you could also say they sent me packing."
WR Marques Colston has quietly lit it up over the last 2 games. He has 18 receptions, 284 yds (15.8 avg.) & 4 TDs. Colston was hampered by a foot injury the first few weeks of the season and didn't seem to be his typical productive self. Now it appears as though Colston is back. If Graham cannot go this week, the Saints will rely on Colston heavily in the red-zone.
Vilma will not play Sunday. Saints will beat the Bucs: 24 -21