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Jonathan Vilma's hearing request supported by trainer


The back-and-forth between the NFL and Jonathan Vilma rages on unabated.

The latest legal move comes by way of New Orleans Saints head trainer Scottie Patton, who filed a sworn affidavit in Louisiana federal court supporting Vilma's motion to expedite a temporary restraining order against the NFL.

Vilma, who's fighting a season-long suspension, hopes a court ruling will allow him to take part in training camp. Earlier Tuesday, the NFL filed a request to deny Vilma's request for an expedited hearing for a temporary restraining order.

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(Yes, a request was filed to deny a request. Fun stuff, isn't it?) and NFL Network reporter Albert Breer obtained a copy of Patton's affidavit, in which the trainer goes into great detail about Vilma's recovery process from offseason knee surgery. Patton believes Vilma unknowingly will put himself at great risk if he's not properly monitored during his recovery.

"One of my major concerns, from knowing and working with Mr. Vilma for so many years, is that Mr. Vilma will push himself too hard if I am not around to check his progress and keep him under control," Patton said.

In January, Vilma underwent osteoarticular transfer system surgery ("Oats" surgery), a procedure that involved moving cartilage from one side of the knee to the other. Vilma traveled to Germany in July for blood treatment on the knee, a procedure New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and others have underwent to speed recovery.

The NFL contends that Vilma still can be monitored by Saints medical professionals, it just can't be done on team property. Patton doesn't address that possibility in his affidavit, but you can safely assume the Saints will want their medical team in-house during business hours once training camp begins.