Jonathan Vilma expected to play on Sunday

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With his yearlong suspension on hold and his ailing knee holding up in practice this week, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma appears ready to play for the first time this season on Sunday against the Buccaneers.

Saints coach Aaron Kromer said today that Vilma had been impressive in practice, and he sounded optimistic that the Saints will make Vilma active on game day.

“Vilma looked good all week,” Kromer said. “We’ve got to get together as a staff still, make sure everyone is on the same page, and decide on game day.”

The Saints have until 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday to activate Vilma from the physically unable to perform list, where he has spent the first six weeks of the season. All signs point to the Saints doing just that.

The biggest question is whether Vilma will play beyond Sunday. We don’t know how much longer he’ll be able to escape the suspension that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to impose, so Vilma should enjoy playing while he can.