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Vilma on the shelf 6 weeks

With Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's year-long suspension over the team's alleged bounty program vacated - at least for now - he made an emotional return to the sidelines for Sunday's opener against the Redskins. 

But Vilma, who received a loud ovation from the crowd at the Superdome, remains out with a knee injury. And the Saints placed him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list because of continued problems with the knee. It means Vilma must sit out at least six weeks before being eligible to return. 

There's no guarantee he'll be back, though. Not only is there uncertainty about his knee condition, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to rule before then about whether Vilma and three other players suspended over the bounty allegations will have their sanction reinstated. 

A three-member panel unanimously agreed that Goodell needed to specify whether he was disciplining the players over conduct detrimental to the league or over salary cap violations because they accepted pay-for-performance. 

New York Sports