NEW ORLEANS — If the Saints decide Jonathan Vilma is ready, the embattled linebacker will take the field in Tampa Bay on Sunday for the first time this season.
It might also be the last time, depending on how things go at NFL headquarters and in federal court.
On Monday, Vilma again asked a federal judge to overturn his recently re-issued suspension in the NFL's bounty probe of the Saints, and the NFL Players Association made a similar request on behalf of three other players.
None of the four players' suspensions are currently being enforced, but that could change as early as next week. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has scheduled the players' appeal hearings for Oct. 23.
FUJITA'S AGENT NOT CONFIRMING INJURY: Scott Fujita may have another fight to win.
The Cleveland Browns linebacker, who has spent much of this year trying to clear his name after being accused of taking part in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal, reportedly has a possible career-ending neck injury.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen said Monday night that both the Browns and Fujita fear his playing days could be over.
Fujita's agent Don Yee would not confirm the report.
RAVENS' LEWIS, WEBB OUT FOR YEAR: Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will miss the remainder of the season with an arm injury, an enormous blow to an already depleted defense that has uncharacteristically struggled this year.
Lewis tore his right triceps during Sunday's 31-29 victory over Dallas.
Baltimore also lost cornerback Lardarius Webb for the year after he tore the ACL in his left knee Sunday. The injury occurred when Webb collided with Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant in the first quarter.
KOLB'S X-RAYS NEGATIVE: Embattled Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb took one hit too many, and it's uncertain whether he will be able to return to lead the Cardinals against the Vikings at Minnesota next Sunday.Comment on this story
Kolb injured his ribs while being sacked for the fifth time in Sunday's wild 19-16 overtime loss to Buffalo. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said X-rays were negative for anything broken.
BILLS RE-SIGN MERRIMAN: Shawne Merriman is back in Buffalo after the Bills re-signed the free-agent pass-rushing star to bolster their banged-up defense.
BEARS SIGN ELDRIDGE, WAIVE BELL: The Chicago Bears have signed TE Brody Eldridge to a one-year contract and waived RB Kahlil Bell.
Bell appeared in two games for the Bears this season and had 32 rushing yards on 12 carries along with an 11-yard reception.