Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma not hurrying return to field

After being on short-term injured reserve since early September, New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma won’t lie — he wants to suit up and play as soon as he’s eligible to against the New York Jets in Week 9.

But Vilma on Tuesday also said he won’t lie if the knee he had arthroscopic knee surgery on in mid-August at any point before then tells him he’s not ready to play football again. He’d rather land on season-ending IR this year than rush back and hurt his knee in a way he’ll regret when he’s a sexagenarian.

“You look at a lot of the older guys ... and I want to be able to walk ... when I’m 50 or 60 years old,” said Vilma, who, during his remarks, alluded to Earl Campbell, a workhorse running back for the Houston Oilers and the Saints in the 1970s and 80s who now copes with severe arthritis and back pain.

“You start hearing about guys and how they’re not really living — they’re just surviving. I don’t want to be one of those guys.”

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