U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan refused Friday to issue a temporary restraining order against the NFL's yearlong suspension of Vilma.
Even though she said she didn't think the action against Vilma was fair, Berrigan made no ruling either way on the case in general.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Vilma for the 2012 season for his alleged role in a bounty system the Saints conducted from 2009-11. Players allegedly were offered cash bonuses for injuring opposing players.
Goodell suspended several team officials, including Coach Sean Payton, and players for the program. Payton and Vilma were given the stiffest penalties of one-year suspensions without pay.
Vilma has taken the disciplinary action to court but the NFL wants the suit dismissed, saying the league and the NFL Players' Association have a process in place to handle the issue.
Berrigan ordered the sides to continue settlement talks. The sides are to meet Aug. 30 before an arbiter.