TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma is active for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, meaning he’ll make his season debut while appealing a suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program.
Vilma has been rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee and practiced for the first time Wednesday. He was moved from the physically unable to perform list to the 53-man roster Saturday.
The ninth-year pro’s return could wind up being relatively brief. His appeal hearing on a season-long suspension has been scheduled for Oct. 30.
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Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is inactive with a sprained right ankle. Running back Chris Ivory, cornerback Elbert Mack, linebacker David Hawthorne, tackle Bryce Harris, defensive tackle Bryce Harris and defensive end Turk McBride also are inactive for New Orleans.
Running back Michael Smith, defensive back Keith Tandy, center Cody Wallace, receiver Chris Owusu, tight end Danny Noble and linebackers Jacob Cutrera and Najee Goode are inactive for Tampa Bay.