Afternoon Blitz: Simms' health in question?

Rain canceled Monday's practice, but the sparks flew between the local media and Bucs general manager Bruce Allen, who dismissed reports that QB Chris Simms is experiencing health problems.

During a lively 10-minute interview with the media, Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen dismissed a St. Petersburg Times report that quarterback Chris Simms had a sore arm, or was suffering from proprioception, a condition that keeps a person from feeling their arms in relationship to their torso.

"I saw the report," Allen said. "That's inaccurate."

The Times video report stated that Simms had not taken 11-on-11 reps during practices on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, though he did participate in practice.

Allen dismissed those reports, too.

"That is not correct. He practiced," Allen said. "He did practice in team today and yesterday. Part of the plays, and all of that, he practiced."

The Times also reported that Simms was taking anti-inflammatories before each workout, but Allen did not comment. Simms did not comment to BucsBlitz.com after the morning workout and was not available to the media Monday afternoon.

Simms, who had his spleen removed in emergency surgery 10 months ago, had looked sharp in practice for the first two and a half days of camp, though his reps in 11-on-11 passing had been inconsistent, and head coach Jon Gruden acknowledged that earlier in training camp. That was in part to inclement weather on Saturday afternoon — a day Gruden had said Simms would get a lot of reps — and the coaching staff's desire to spread reps among their four quarterbacks.

BucsBlitz.com observed practice Monday morning and did not see Simms throw a pass in 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 passing drills. The majority of the reps went to Bruce Gradkowski and Luke McCown. Simms did participate in other passing drills, such as the pat-downs, which are light throwing, at the start of practice.

While Allen could not state how many passing reps Simms had taken in 11-on-11 drills, he did state that the Buccaneers chart every throw in training camp. He said going into Sunday's workouts Simms had the second-most throws behind Jeff Garcia, and that the difference between the two was about "five or six throws."

Allen said a sore arm is "not an issue," and that Simms has not notified the team's medical officials that he's having any physical issues. He would not comment on Simms' health beyond that.

"His health is not an issue," Allen said.

Later, though, Allen said that proprioception was not the right correlation between Simms and his "condition." Earlier in the interview Allen said that Simms was dealing with the usual training camp soreness.

"Chris, as all quarterbacks, deal with different sorenesses," Allen said. "We have defensive linemen that have sore elbows and sore shoulders. (It's) nothing unusual.

"Does Chris feel like he's at his ‘A' game right now? Probably not. He missed a lot of time last year, but he's worked very hard this offseason and he wants to get back into rhythm. He will work to get there."

BucsBlitz.com spoke to Simms on Saturday and he acknowledged that his fundamentals are much better off than they were a month ago, but that some fine-tuning needed to be done.

"I feel 100 percent," Simms said on Saturday morning. "I really do. I may not be clicking on all cylinders, but my body is ready to go and I'm real close to getting all eight cylinders and being ready."

Allen said the Buccaneers plan to have Simms on the field in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills on Tuesday, and that he fully expects Simms to be ready for the preseason opener against New England on Aug. 10.

Want to read the entire Bruce Allen transcript from Monday's press conference? Click here.


Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. Included among his more than two dozen writing and editing awards are national awards from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors, and state awards from the Florida Press Club and the Florida Sports Writers Association, for his coverage of the Buccaneers since 2004.


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