Knee injury sidelines Saints LB Vilma for meeting with Bucs

NEW ORLEANS -- Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and running back Mark Ingram will sit out Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with knee and heel injuries, respectively.

Ingram was ruled out Friday, but Vilma had been listed as questionable on the Saints' injury report. Ingram hasn't played since the Saints' Week 7 win over the Indianapolis Colts, but Vilma will miss his first game of the season.

Jo-Lonn Dunbar will start at middle linebacker for New Orleans in Vilma's place.

Vilma's absence could be coming at a bad time for the Saints. Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount returns after missing two games with a knee injury, and the team plans to pound the Saints' suspect defensive interior.

Bucs coach Raheem Morris told me the plan is for Blount to have "at least 20 to 25 carries."

The Bucs deactivated starting guard Jeremy Zuttah, who missed practice all week with knee soreness. Also out is reserve defensive tackle Frank Okam, who missed practice with a sore calf, and wide receiver Sammie Stroughter, who tried practicing the past week with ankle soreness.

Healthy scratches include Saints wide receiver Adrian Arrington and Bucs defensive end Tim Crowder.

Visit to see inactive players in every Sunday game.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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