Vilma, NFL return to federal court in bounty case

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Jonathan Vilma has returned to federal court Friday where a judge is hearing arguments on the NFL's motion to dismiss the Saints linebacker's lawsuit seeking to overturn his bounty suspension.

It's not clear when U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan will rule, but if she does not dismiss the lawsuit, she could potentially rule on Vilma's request to be allowed to temporarily return to the Saints while the case proceeds.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Vilma for the entire 2012 season, saying the Saints linebacker was among the ring leaders of a program that offered Saints defenders improper cash bonuses for injuring opponents.

Vilma, several teammates and Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt have testified that Vilma never paid or accepted money for injuring another player.