Gruden Says Simms's Career in 'No Jeopardy'
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms is expected to resume his NFL career, according to Coach Jon Gruden, but it isn't clear if that will occur this season.
Gruden visited Simms at a Tampa area hospital yesterday morning and said later that the quarterback's prognosis is promising after Simms underwent emergency surgery in which his ruptured spleen was removed following Sunday's loss to the Carolina Panthers.
"He's going to be just fine," Gruden said at a news conference.
Gruden said that Simms's football career is in "no jeopardy." He said that Simms likely would spend three or four more days in the hospital and it will be determined later whether Simms will be able to play again in the final stages of this season.
Simms was listed in stable condition. The typical recovery time after such a procedure reportedly is about six weeks. Simms, 26, returned to finish the game after leaving the field near the end of the third quarter.
"We're just going to take a good look at this rehab, this recovery period, and do what our doctors deem is the right thing to do," Gruden said. "He's a young quarterback. He's got an injury here that's serious, that he's going to recover from, and how quickly he recovers remains to be seen. All we can do now is support him and move on with this season."
Gruden said that team doctors examined Simms before he was allowed to return to the game and found no indication that he was suffering from a ruptured spleen or other serious injury. The Buccaneers believed that Simms had only a rib injury, Gruden said.
Simms was hit hard several times during the game. Gruden said the exact moment when the injury occurred could not be determined for certain, but the Buccaneers believed it could have happened on a hit late in the game by Panthers defensive end Al Wallace.
"I was concerned about him throughout the whole game, as was our medical staff," Gruden said. "But he persisted on being able to play and he was confident he could perform and fight through it. . . . All indications were that he could play."
Rookie Bruce Gradkowski will take over as the starter at quarterback for the Buccaneers (0-3).
Broken Foot to Sideline Alexander
League MVP Shaun Alexander has a broken left foot and will be lost to the Seahawks for at least a couple of weeks. Coach Mike Holmgren said yesterday that a bone scan revealed Alexander suffered a "small crack" and "displaced fracture" on a non-weight-bearing bone in his foot sometime during the Seahawks' 42-30 win over the New York Giants on Sunday. Alexander ran for 47 yards on 20 carries while wearing new shoes and orthotic inserts before sitting out the fourth quarter. . . .
Suspended Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman was arrested on a drunken driving charge early yesterday in Cincinnati. Thurman's blood alcohol level reportedly was measured at 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.
Thurman is serving a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy and did not participate in the Bengals' victory Sunday at Pittsburgh. Thurman reportedly was with two other Bengals players when he was arrested. They were not identified by police, but the Associated Press reported that Bengals wide receivers Chris Henry and Reggie McNeal were with Thurman. An Oct. 2 court appearance was scheduled. . . .
Injured quarterback Trent Green might visit his Kansas City Chiefs teammates this week but has been ruled out of playing in Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. Green suffered a concussion during the Chiefs' season opener. . . .
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne left the Indianapolis Colts after Sunday's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars to return to his home state of Louisiana following the death of his older brother, Rashad, in an auto accident. Rashad Wayne was killed Sunday when the delivery truck he was driving crashed into a guardrail in Kenner, La. Reggie Wayne was told the news after the game. It's not clear when he'll rejoin the team.