Reinstated Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma will be relegated to cheerleader status at the Superdome on Sunday. But what a cheerleader he’ll be.
Like former Saints running back Deuce McAllister during 2009 playoff games that, per the league, were undermined by Vilma-fueled bounties on the opponents’ starting quarterbacks, Vilma will likely lead the team out of the tunnel today.
And soon, he could be doing much more than leading cheers. ESPN’s Ed Werder reports that Vilma is a week or two away from being ready to play, due to a knee injury that at one point during the offseason took him to Germany for treatment. Thus, with the square-one suspension process possibly taking a month to be fully resolved, Vilma could get to play several games until his suspension begins again.
If his suspension ever begins again.
Regardless of what happens in the future, having Vilma and Will Smith in the building represents a major victory for the Saints, something that can’t ever be taken away — even if the suspensions were to start again on Monday.