New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was in Philadelphia on Monday for a second opinion on his groin injury, but the Saints are confident that he'll be right back where he's supposed to be -- in the middle of their defense -- come Sept. 9 when they play the Minnesota Vikings in the regular-season opener at the Superdome.
"Certainly, he'll be out this week," Coach Sean Payton said of New Orleans' preseason finale at Tennessee on Thursday night. "But I think we're optimistic that he's going to be able to start up practice when we get going Sunday (for) next week. But we're going to have to spend a lot of time here in the next six, seven days with treatment and all the things necessary."
Vilma, who injured his groin during the second half of the Saints' 36-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers in a preseason game this past Friday night at the Superdome, insisted through his Facebook page that "I'm not letting ANYTHING stop me from showing up to the party sept 9! believe that!!"
Payton and New Orleans General Manager Mickey Loomis backed up that sentiment Monday, saying all indications are that Vilma will be ready for the Vikings.