Skip to content

Will Smith expected to play, Jonathan Vilma expected to sit Sunday

Arizona Cardinals v. New Orleans Saints 8-5-2012 Getty Images

The three-judge panel’s ruling that halts the suspensions of the four players disciplined for the Saints bounty program doesn’t mean all four of them will be on the field on Sunday.

As Mike Florio noted on the Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network, the Saints do expect defensive end Will Smith, who was suspended four games, to play in Sunday’s game — even though he hasn’t practiced all week, as the Saints were preparing to open the season against the Redskins without him. But linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended for the entire season, is not expected to play. Vilma has a knee injury, and multiple reports out of New Orleans say he won’t be ready to go on Sunday.

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, who was suspended for three games for his role in the bounty program when he played for the Saints, is expected to be on the field in Cleveland on Sunday.

Anthony Hargrove, who was suspended eight games, isn’t even currently on an NFL roster, so he obviously isn’t playing this week. Hargrove was in training camp with the Packers but didn’t make the 53-man roster.

It’s entirely possible that today’s rulings won’t change the number of games each of these players miss: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell still may convince the three-judge panel to let him suspend Smith four games and Fujita three games, and Vilma could still be suspended for the rest of the year after sitting out Sunday, while Hargrove may be done in the NFL regardless of this suspension. So while Smith and Fujita will be happy to step on the field Sunday, it remains to be seen whether any suspended player ends up playing in any more games than he would have if the players hadn’t won with today’s ruling.

Permalink 23 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
23 Responses to “Will Smith expected to play, Jonathan Vilma expected to sit Sunday”
  1. purplegreenandgold says: Sep 7, 2012 5:42 PM

    the roof would tear off that place if he lead the team on the field

  2. doctorfootball says: Sep 7, 2012 5:51 PM

    Even if Vilma played that would only make that defense slightly less horrible. That said, they won’t need a good defense this weekend.

  3. silentcount says: Sep 7, 2012 5:52 PM

    I’m sure Tom Benson will have ANOTHER meeting with Goodell real soon, with the discussion involving the fairness of Sean Payton’s year-long suspension. Perhaps he’ll point out that his FBI investigation shows there was nothing that Payton needed to know about. Maybe Benson will call a meeting with the other owners to vote on Goodell’s future. Seems like the Commish picked the wrong team to abuse as a message to the others.

  4. djjasonpaul says: Sep 7, 2012 5:56 PM

    the whole bounty BS was blown way out of proportion and I am glad Goodell looks like an idiot. They need a board with more then one person handing down suspensions and fines. I hope someone sues Badell for his ridiculous actions. Sean Payton should be allowed back to coach as well. I hope the Saints win the superbowl and piss on Goodell after it.

  5. harryglyphics says: Sep 7, 2012 6:01 PM

    You don’t know what it means to be a
    Saints fan in New Orleans

  6. SeenThisB4 says: Sep 7, 2012 6:02 PM

    I wonder what Judge Berrigan would have handed down, or If this panel decision was to pre-empt her making a decision.

  7. Wisconsin77 says: Sep 7, 2012 6:07 PM

    Proof that cheaters do win sometimes.

  8. realnflmaster says: Sep 7, 2012 6:08 PM

    Saints superbowl was a hoax. They gave it to the city due to Hurricane Kathy

  9. cags777 says: Sep 7, 2012 6:09 PM

    Word of advice to Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma: Don’t go back and sue the NFL if you wind up getting hurt from an opposing player performing a bounty on you. After all, it’s all a part of the game, right?

  10. gregerss says: Sep 7, 2012 6:14 PM

    realnflmaster says:
    Sep 7, 2012 6:08 PM
    Saints superbowl was a hoax. They gave it to the city due to Hurricane Kathy
    ————————————————————
    How exactly is their Superbowl Championship a hoax? They still had to go out and play their games. They didn’t tape their opponent’s practices, like some other organization. Regardless if they had a bounty program or not, they played their behinds off and won it all. That’s not a hoax, bro.

  11. conormacleod says: Sep 7, 2012 6:17 PM

    Anybody else hope these players get a taste of their own medicine very early in the season?

  12. touchdownsyndrome says: Sep 7, 2012 6:20 PM

    Any loss for Goodell, even a provisional one, is a win for football. Congrats to the Saints and their fans; now take it easy on my shiny new QB this weekend.

  13. jamiebuf12 says: Sep 7, 2012 6:21 PM

    all this whining from a punk (vilma) who is washed up and can’t play anyways……..i hope a offensive lineman takes his good knee out first time he plays !!!! i now despise the saints and will root for every team playing against them,i can’t wait till that other punk brees gets his head knoocked off and when he ask’s for an explanation they can just say u got knocked out!!!!…………………go bills!!!

  14. nolanorth says: Sep 7, 2012 6:31 PM

    harryglyphics says:

    You don’t know what it means to be a
    Saints fan in New Orleans
    ______________________________
    The same around the world brother!

  15. Wisconsin77 says: Sep 7, 2012 6:31 PM

    gregerss says: Sep 7, 2012 6:14 PM
    How exactly is their Superbowl Championship a hoax? They still had to go out and play their games. They didn’t tape their opponent’s practices, like some other organization. Regardless if they had a bounty program or not, they played their behinds off and won it all. That’s not a hoax, bro.

    Illegal bounty on Favre directly led to the Saints making the SB, that’s why. The Viking were the better team and Favre was the better QB. And you may ask how can a bounty system lead to that? Both of Favre’s INTs were a result of that. The first one was an illegal vicious hit which the NFL later apologized for not calling a penalty on. And the last one, Favre would have most likely ran instead of throwing the ball but didn’t due to the multitude of illegal hits he experienced all game.

    Bottom line, that was supposed to be a Manning Favre Super Bowl, but the Saints cheated that away from NFL fans.

  16. sampulls says: Sep 7, 2012 7:17 PM

    What a joke…these guys should have been kicked out of the league…gotta love the legal systems.

  17. cliffordc05 says: Sep 7, 2012 7:33 PM

    I think the suspension imposed upon the players was overly harsh. However, the Saints had been warned by the league on several occasions that Williams needed to be toned down and apparently the Saints simply ignored the league. It is hard to make an argument for Saints management and coaches.

    Also, while I am happy for the players, this ruling is more of a technical issue than vindication. The league is in a position to simply put their case together (and limit it strictly to the bounty issue) and hold hearings in the future. It will be interesting to see if the players take part in future hearings. If Kessler is involved then they may actually skip them again.

  18. ckrae13 says: Sep 7, 2012 8:11 PM

    For all you Saints haters out there and the guys that hate these players for what the League said they did, you all need to get a grip. The reason the commish mad the punishment so harsh was because he wanted to make sure all the other bounty pool or sack pools, int pools, and the such where eliminated. He did that. So check you home teams watch what former players say about it, they all say this has been going on and every team for years. They did not try to intentionally hurt other players just make good hard hit. And the idiot about the SB being a HOAX guys it should have been Farve vs Manning is just a homer, Farve sucks do you know how many INTs he has thrown in NFC championships games in his past look it up, history says it was going to do it again.

  19. vegasvinnie says: Sep 7, 2012 9:14 PM

    Illegal bounty on Favre directly led to the Saints making the SB, that’s why. The Viking were the better team and Favre was the better QB. And you may ask how can a bounty system lead to that? Both of Favre’s INTs were a result of that. The first one was an illegal vicious hit which the NFL later apologized for not calling a penalty on. And the last one, Favre would have most likely ran instead of throwing the ball but didn’t due to the multitude of illegal hits he experienced all game.

    Bottom line, that was supposed to be a Manning Favre Super Bowl, but the Saints cheated that away from NFL fans.

    Right, because Favre was never known to throw an ill advised pass before that game.

    Kids, this is why mommy and daddy insist on you wearing you helmets when you go riding.

  20. namelessfacelessfan says: Sep 7, 2012 9:17 PM

    “Wisconsin77 says:
    Sep 7, 2012 6:31 PM
    Illegal bounty on Favre directly led to the Saints making the SB, that’s why. The Viking were the better team and Favre was the better QB. And you may ask how can a bounty system lead to that? Both of Favre’s INTs were a result of that.”

    How about Favre’s (almost identical) INT to end the 2007 NFC Championship game? Or any of the INTs he is known for throwing in huge moments?

    Were those the result of some sort of bounty?
    Or only the one against the Saints?

    And, let me ask you something, do you honestly think a few grand was the motivating factor for some of these millionaire players to pound Favre as hard as possible or was it simply the burning desire to go to the franchise’s first SB?

    The result would have been the same with or without the monetary rewards which of course everyone knows have been a staple in the NFL for decades.

    Saints definitely had some borderline dirty hits of Favre. But thats what flags are for.

  21. Wisconsin77 says: Sep 8, 2012 9:02 AM

    namelessfacelessfan says: Sep 7, 2012 9:17 PM
    How about Favre’s (almost identical) INT to end the 2007 NFC Championship game?

    Perhaps if the Packer’s had an illegal bounty system against Manning, the Giant’s offense wouldn’t have rushed 200 yards/gained 400 yards total and had 24 time consuming first downs on the hapless Packer’s D that day and it would never have had to come down to Favre once again because the rest of the team is playing like sht.

  22. tatum064 says: Sep 8, 2012 10:14 AM

    realnflmaster says:
    Sep 7, 2012 6:08 PM
    Saints superbowl was a hoax. They gave it to the city due to Hurricane Kathy

    ==========

    One of those times you’re actually thankful the Saints blow out teams and drop 40 spots on teams – really hoping they host AND WIN the Super Bowl. A national tragedy, a good story, a bounty that has been ultimately DISCREDITED –

    love it.

    Hang in their N.O. Hurricane Isaac? Not a problem.

  23. tatum064 says: Sep 8, 2012 10:15 AM

    vegasvinnie says:
    Sep 7, 2012 9:14 PM
    Illegal bounty on Favre directly led to the Saints making the SB, that’s why. The Viking were the better team and Favre was the better QB. And you may ask how can a bounty system lead to that? Both of Favre’s INTs were a result of that. The first one was an illegal vicious hit which the NFL later apologized for not calling a penalty on. And the last one, Favre would have most likely ran instead of throwing the ball but didn’t due to the multitude of illegal hits he experienced all game.

    Bottom line, that was supposed to be a Manning Favre Super Bowl, but the Saints cheated that away from NFL fans.

    ===================

    Yeah, INT to end v. the Giants
    INT to end v. the Saints

    That ship has sailed, bro.

    Let it go.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!