New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (ankle) will not play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, but linebacker Jonathan Vilma will after being activated from the physically unable to perform list, a team source told NFL Network's Alex Flanagan.
Graham did not make the trip Saturday, the source said. The Saints later announced the moves, and Vilma took the field in the first quarter.
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Quarterback Drew Brees has plenty of offensive weapons, but Graham is a matchup nightmare who caught 99 passes for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011.
Vilma was suspended for his involvement in the Saints bounty scandal, but he's allowed to play during the appeal process. He was on the PUP list because of his offseason knee surgery.
The Saints lose a unique player in Graham, but the Bucs feature the second-worst pass defense in the NFL. New Orleans' offense should be fine.
Vilma will be limited, but he could provide an emotional lift to a defense that has been abused all season long.