Jonathan Vilma did not suit up for the New Orleans Saints for their season opener at home against the Washington Redskins, but the recently exonerated, sort of, linebacker was on the field prior to the game. The Saints rolled out the linebacker to lead the crowd in a rousing "Who Dat" chant after the coin toss.
New Orleans put Vilma on their roster exempt list. His return is unlikely to happen soon as he recovers from a knee injury. He had previously been suspended for the entire season by the NFL for his role in the Saints bounty program. An arbitration panel, a last step for player grievances in the collective bargaining agreement, lifted his suspension on Friday, as well as suspensions for the other three players.
Defensive end Will Smith, who was facing a four game suspension, is active for the Saints in Week 1. Linebacker Scott Fujita is inactive for the Browns. Anthony Hargrove was released by the Packers in August.