Chris Simms beat the odds. He's still a Buccaneer.
The fifth-year quarterback, who played just one series in preseason, made the final roster cuts on Saturday as the Buccaneers decided to keep four quarterbacks entering the regular season.
Simms told the media after Thursday's preseason game that he had a strained hip, which kept him out of the lineup. But he also said that, thanks to an improved rehab regimen for his elbow and his recovery from a ruptured spleen, he could be ready to play for next week's season opener against Seattle.
"I could go if they needed me," Simms said.
But at least the fifth-year pro is on the team, which was in doubt in the days leading up to the final cuts. After a strong start to training camp, Simms developed soreness in his throwing elbow, which he likened to tendonitis. That limited his participation in full workouts for nearly a week of training camp and caused him to fall behind the rest of the quarterbacks.
Simms did not play in the first two preseason games, and played just one series against Miami. He went 0-for-1 and led the Bucs to one first down.
Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen was not available for comment on Saturday night.
Other notable cuts included veteran linebacker Jamie Winborn, who was Derrick Brooks' backup on the weak side; and wide receiver Mark Jones, who was the Bucs' only dedicated returner.
The Buccaneers' cuts on Saturday included:
TE Keith Heinrich, LB Jamie Winborn, DT Ellis Wymn, DT Darrell Campbell, RB Kenneth Darby, T Chris Denman (waived/injured), RB Lionel Gates, WR Chas Gessner (waived/injured), CB Marcus Hamilton, CB Carlos Hendricks (waived/injured), DE Julian Jenkins, WR Mark Jones, TE C.J. Leak, WR Chad Lucas, G/C Enoka Lucas, LB Jerry Mackey, S Donte Nicholson, T Dennis Roland, FB Byron Storer, WR Paris Warren (waived/injured), CB Alan Zemaitis.
Also, CB Torrie Cox was placed on the reserve/suspended by commissioner list.
Heinrich, Winborn and Wyms immediately become free agents. Non-vested veterans will be on waivers until noon on Sunday.
Denman (hand), Gessner (wrist), Hendricks (knee) and Warren (ankle) must clear waivers must clear waivers before they're placed on injured reserve. They were all hurt in the preseason finale.
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 and has won national awards for his Buccaneers coverage from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is also a contributor to the Scot Brantley Show from 4-7 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1490-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.