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Tough times for ailing Saints MLB Vilma

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted Nov. 12, 2011 @ 6:18 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

A nagging left knee injury will keep MLB Jonathan Vilma out for a second straight game in Week 10, and the Saints are hoping treatment and rest will help him return at close to full strength in time for a Week 12 matchup with the Giants, after New Orleans' bye in Week 11. It's the longest the Saints have been without Vilma, who had missed only one game before Week Nine since joining the team in 2008. He has been dealing with the knee injury since Week Two, and the Saints were hopeful that the knee would improve over time, but head coach Sean Payton said Friday that the injury has remained "kind of stagnant." League evaluators say Vilma's performance has declined this season, and he's not making the plays that he consistently did in past years. He has 32 tackles in seven games, and the Saints' run defense, which allowed 4.3 yards per carry last season, is giving up 5.3 through nine games this season.

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