Yet another knee surgery on the way for Jonathan Vilma, one that has to leave you wondering how much longer his career can continue at this rate. Per Adam Schefter:
Saints LB Jonathan Vilma undergoing knee surgery today in Philadelphia; out for preseason, should be back for opener.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 15, 2013
The discussion is already surrounding David Hawthorne being thrust back into the starting lineup as a result of this injury. And even if Vilma is back by the opener, will he be effective? Will he be able to move at the speed and agility necessary to make plays? All this despite the fact that he was traded in his prime because he didn't fit in a 3-4 to begin with? I love Vilma and I don't think you can ever count the man out because of his will and intelligence as a football player… but time runs out on everyone eventually. It's just a matter of when. And it's hard to imagine VIlma's tread has much mileage left in it after this news.
What I know for sure is I'd prefer David Hawthorne seemingly healthy over Jonathan Vilma completely compromised for the entirety of the season. Vilma is a leader, a Saint for life, and the heart and soul of the Super Bowl champion 2009 defense – but counting on production from him at this point is career is bound to leave you disappointed. It's time to realize we might not get much more out of him, if anything. I hope I'm wrong.