The New Orleans Saints have activated linebacker Jonathan Vilma off the short-term injured-reserve list on Saturday, which makes him eligible to make his 2013 NFL season debut against the New York Jets on Sunday, ESPN reports.

Vilma got placed on short-term IR in Week 1 of the season after having surgery on his knee. This allowed Vilma to return, and now he is able to play the second half of the NFL season.

"Fortunately I was able to take that long, almost like an extended rehab period. It was definitely for the better," Vilma said Friday. "Back [in Week 1] of course, I wanted to try to rush and get back. But it was definitely for the better that I now I'm able to come back and able to just go out there and run, run around and get back into football shape, get my angles down and my timing."

Vilma won't be starting and likely will have rotational snaps throughout Sunday's game, as it is his first game back and that David Hawthorne has been doing a solid job replacing Vilma.

Vilma has been a game-changer since joining the Saints, and was an star Pro Bowl linebacker. However, he hasn't been much of the same since the 2011 season, much in part due to his knee problems and the whole Saints bounty scandal.

Vilma looked a lot like his old self during the Saints OTAs in the summer, but began experiencing swelling in his knee, which led to the surgery.

We'll see how Vilma performs, and if he can be much of a factor at all this season for New Orleans. 

By Josh Dhani


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