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Saints LB Vilma likely to play vs. Bucs

The SportsXchange

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma participated in practice again Friday and appears likely to be activated from the physically unable to perform list in time to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Interim head coach Aaron Kromer said Vilma has made some impressive plays in practice this week, but the decision on whether to play him against the Buccaneers won't be made until Sunday.

"We have to wait until Sunday because there are still a lot of things that we're going through in the gameplan and we don't have it all in yet," Kromer said. "As the week goes on we still continue to see how he feels after each practice. Are there any kind of setbacks? Is there soreness or anything like that that could hold him up as well? It's physically and it's mentally. He definitely would like to play because he's Jon Vilma and that's what he does."

Vilma, who is appealing his season-long suspension levied by commissioner Roger Goodell for his alleged role in the bounty scandal, has been on the physically unable to perform list all season recovering from a knee injury.

Tight end Jimmy Graham is listed as questionable with his ankle injury after taking part in limited practice Friday.

"Jimmy is mentally ready and he is a very tough guy," Kromer said. "Pain doesn't affect him. You saw him playing after he hurt his ankle in the game. Those kinds of things won't affect Jimmy Graham."
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