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Saturday, September 8, 2012
Saints activate DE Will Smith

By Pat Yasinskas

NEW ORLEANS -- Defensive end Will Smith, who previously was suspended for the first four games, appears likely to play in Sunday’s season opener against the Washington Redskins.

The New Orleans Saints activated Smith onto their regular roster Saturday afternoon. The Saints also released receiver Adrian Arrington and fullback Korey Hall and placed offensive tackle Marcel Jones on injured reserve.

An appeals panel overturned Smith’s suspension on Friday and he likely will be used as New Orleans’ top pass rusher against Washington rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III on Sunday. Smith, linebacker Jonathan Vilma and two former New Orleans players were supposed to be suspended as part of what the NFL said was a bounty program by the Saints. But the appeals panel said commissioner Roger Goodell went outside his jurisdiction and has asked the league to re-think the disciplinary actions.

The Saints did not activate Vilma. Instead, they have used a roster exemption for the veteran linebacker. Vilma had been working to recover from a knee injury before his suspension started. His physical status is unclear, but it’s likely Vilma isn’t healthy enough to play.