Friday, September 7, 2012
Vilma decision could affect Seahawks, 49ers
By Mike Sando
Jonathan Vilma and other current/former suspended New Orleans Saints players won reversals Friday.
What it means for the NFC West:
Full story here.
- The decision clears Vilma to play against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12 (and all season). Vilma had previously been suspended for the full season. The other suspended players either would have returned before facing the 49ers (Will Smith) or no longer play for New Orleans (Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove). Vilma is an important part of the Saints' defense. Having him should help against the 49ers' running game.
- Vilma's availability to the Saints could enable the team to part with Barrett Ruud, the linebacker acquired from Seattle by trade last month. The Seahawks are in line to receive a late-round draft choice from the Saints in return if Ruud remains on New Orleans' roster for an undisclosed number of games. Seattle appears less likely to collect on that trade now that Vilma is available.
- The reversals affected players, not coaches. The St. Louis Rams will remain without Gregg Williams, who was suspended indefinitely after becoming defensive coordinator for St. Louis.