With injuries piling up and impending suspensions looming over, there hasn't been a lot to be optimistic about on the defensive side of the ball for the upcoming start of the regular season.
At least one person is staying positive about Scott Fujita's chances to play in the Browns' season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at home. That person is still Fujita himself, who has been vocal about fighting the suspension for some time now. He spoke out again on Tuesday, which you can read here.
''I'm optimistic about playing in Week 1,'' he said.
As you may recall, Fujita, along with three other former and current New Orleans Saints players, were all dealt varying suspensions for their alleged involvement in the bounty scandal, more popularly dubbed "bountygate." Fujita's suspension was the shortest of the four, only totaling three games.
Fujita has also been dealing with an injury throughout the preseason, but has finally been able to return to practice.
Fujita declined to give many details for his positive outlook other than saying he was encouraged by U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan's recent statements regarding suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's request for a temporary restraining order to block the bounty sanctions. The judge has said that if she can clear up concerns about her jurisdiction, she would likely grant Vilma the order because she found the NFL's disciplinary process in the bounty matter unfair and the punishment excessive.
The players have been fighting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's power to impose these sort of suspensions without revealing any shred of evidence against them.
Based on the judges comments thus far, it does seem like there is at least some possibility that it the suspensions could be blocked, in which case Fujita could return to the Browns defensive unit, where they need everyone back they can get.