Suspended linebacker Jonathan Vilma is determined to return to action for the New Orleans Saints as soon as possible. If Vilma gets his way, that could be this Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Vilma told WVUE-TV that he will come off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Tuesday, and that he can play during his latest appeal of the NFL's season-long suspension for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal.
I'll be allowed to practice, I'll be allowed to play versus Tampa Bay," Vilma said.
Vilma, who missed five games in 2011 to a knee injury, was placed on the PUP list at the start of Week 2 after a three-person panel vacated his season-long suspension.
Vilma also underwent three procedures on his left knee in an eight-month span starting last November, including a relatively obscure, non-intrusive, blood-spinning procedure that Vilma traveled to Germany to have done, according to affidavits filed by Vilma and Saints trainer Scottie Patton in federal court.
NFL.com's Albert Breer tweeted Monday that Vilma is also seeking a final remedy through the courts: