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papz 08-28-2013 07:49 AM

Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut
 
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1. VILMA IN OR OUT?

This was the toughest decision for me - and it could be the potential headliner this weekend if the Saints decide to place Vilma on injured reserve. I kept Vilma on my 53-man roster projection, but just barely.

I think he'll probably be healthy enough to return to practice within a week or two, as long as he hasn't suffered any unknown setbacks following minor knee surgery. But the bigger question the Saints need to decide is whether or not they believe Vilma can return anywhere close to his pre-injury form of 2010.

If Vilma's knee is going to continue to slow him down, the Saints might have to make the tough decision to move on without one of the most pivotal leaders of their Super Bowl era.

If Vilma doesn't make the roster, it could open the door for any number of players who barely missed my roster cut (safety Jim Leonhard, defensive end Tom Johnson, linebacker Baraka Atkins, cornerback Rod Sweeting, fullback Austin Johnson and receiver Andy Tanner among them).

2. JOHNSON IN OR OUT?

This headline could apply to Tom or Austin, both of whom barely missed my latest cut. But in this case, I mean outside linebacker Rufus Johnson, the sixth-round draft pick from Tarleton State who has continued to show progress throughout the preseason.

Like Vilma, the Saints would have to use a roster spot on Johnson even though he might not be able to contribute immediately on defense. But if he continues to show progress, the Saints could decide to save a "redshirt" roster spot for him or throw him into the mix on special teams.

Johnson, a raw but tantalizing athlete at 6 feet 5, 272 pounds, said he thought he had his best game yet against the Texans on Sunday. He lined up with some of the first-string special teams units and was the fourth outside linebacker to enter the game after Will Smith, Jay Richardson and Atkins.

"I'm always gonna be hard on myself, but I think I came out and made a few plays," said Johnson, who had three tackles in the game.

3. CADET VS. ROBINSON

This was the most difficult either-or decision on my roster projection. Rookie running back Khiry Robinson has had a better summer and has continued to impress as a powerful runner, while second-year pro Travaris Cadet has struggled with some fumbles. But I'm still giving the slight edge to Cadet because of his versatility as a return man and receiver. This is a spot where Thursday's performances could still help tilt the balance.

Read more: Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut | NOLA.com

TheOak 08-28-2013 01:54 PM

Re: Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut
 
Vilma - This decision depends entirely on what becomes available between now and decision time. If nothing comes up we keep and shuck next year, if any player can at minimum match his present ability but is younger we discard one and draw one...

Cadet vs Robinson - Robinson.. As many people that talked about going with the hot hand in regards to the 49ers QB debacle last year, I am surprised more people are not taking the same route.

I want another Super Bowl this year and to do that we have to at minimum get less predictable and more reliable. Those things require some change.

Cruize 08-28-2013 02:25 PM

Re: Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut
 
Johnson makes the squad almost by default. Vilma will retire, go on IR, or bring back IR. Cadet makes the team due to his special teams ability. Robinson will make the practice squad.

Luda34 08-28-2013 03:27 PM

Re: Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut
 
I will be surprise if Vilma doesn't make the team

homerj07 08-28-2013 05:54 PM

Re: Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Luda34 (Post 520868)
I will be surprise if Vilma doesn't make the team

Depends on how bad the knee is & how long it takes to rehab is PUP a chance?

jeanpierre 08-29-2013 12:29 AM

Re: Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut
 
Barely make the cut?

What makes him think that they "barely" made the cut?

Wish he'd cite his source to back up the "barely" part...

Rugby Saint II 08-29-2013 01:54 PM

Re: Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut
 
Brain overload.............AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

saintfan 08-29-2013 02:42 PM

Re: Updated New Orleans Saints roster projection: Jonathan Vilma, Rufus Johnson barely make the cut
 
Quote:

I think he'll probably be healthy enough to return to practice within a week or two, as long as he hasn't suffered any unknown setbacks following minor knee surgery.
Well DUH!

I am 10% more stupid because I read this article.


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