Saints get Jimmy Graham back at practice

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The signals about Saints tight end Jimmy Graham’s status for Sunday have been mixed.

We reported on Tuesday that Graham was expected to be in the New Orleans lineup despite an ankle injury, but Wednesday’s practice came and went without Graham getting on the field. That obviously nudged the needle toward the negative on Graham’s chances of playing against the Buccaneers.

The needle moved in the other direction on Thursday. Graham was on the practice field in a limited fashion, raising hope that the Saints will have him available as they try to keep climbing out of the 0-4 hole they dug for themselves. Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that interim coach Aaron Kromer said Graham does not need to practice fully in order to play in this week’s game, which should mean we go down to the last minute when it comes to Graham’s status.

Kromer also said that the decision about whether linebacker Jonathan Vilma will go down to the wire. That particular wire is a bit earlier in Vilma’s case as the Saints would need to put him on the active roster on Saturday afternoon in order for him to play on Sunday.