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NFL answers Vilma, says he can work with Saints trainer during suspension


The NFL has answered Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s argument that enacting his suspension would keep him from being able to rehabilitate his knee injury with the team’s medical staff.

Vilma wants an expedited restraining order blocking the suspension and argued that he needs it so that he can have daily access to Saints trainer Scottie Patton. The league responded with a motion in opposition, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune, on Tuesday that said Vilma won’t be barred from working with Patton during his suspension.

“And Mr. Vilma is incorrect about the ability of the Saints medical staff to interact with him during his suspension; while Mr. Vilma may not attend the Club facility, he can rehabilitate and condition at a private facility and Saints trainers and physicians can monitor and help guide his rehabilitation there.”

The league also argued that by waiting 11 days to file, Vilma “belies the supposed exigency of his motion.”

Given the fact that Patton and the rest of the team’s medical staff will be working with the team full-time during the season, it won’t necessarily be easy for them to find time to work with Vilma on a daily basis. It would be possible, though, and that would seem to cut through the argument that Vilma is unable to continue rehabbing with members of the Saints staff.