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Simms lands on IR, how is the question
By STEPHEN F. HOLDER, Times Staff Writer
Published October 11, 2007
TAMPA - Quarterback Chris Simms, as expected, was officially placed on the injured reserve list Wednesday.
That left just one unanswered question: How exactly was Simms eligible for injured reserve when team officials repeatedly pronounced him healthy for the past two months and he didn't appear on an injury report or in a game?
According to Greg Aiello, the NFL's senior vice president of public relations: "The burden is on the club to demonstrate that the player can't play. He did, of course, suffer a serious injury last year."
Simms had surgery to remove his spleen in September 2006 after sustaining internal injuries in a game against Carolina.
According to a team official, teams typically demonstrate the need to place a player on injured reserve through a medical report. In Simms' case, the Bucs have declined to be more specific.
Asked to elaborate on the nature of the injury Wednesday, even coach Jon Gruden seemed confounded.
"I'm not going to be an expert on it," he said. "Obviously, he's hurt, he is out for the season and is he is unable to get it going. His season is over. ... I can't really since the very beginning of time tell you exactly what the extent of this injury is. I just know he's a great kid and it's very unfortunate."
Still, it seems unlikely the move will be challenged unless Simms says otherwise. He said as recently as last month that he was making marked improvement in his recovery, and his mechanics and arm strength seemed to be improving.
Team officials said Simms was not present Wednesday and was unavailable for comment.
INJURY REPORT: Cornerback Brian Kelly groin did not practice, and linebacker Barrett Ruud (knee) was limited. Defensive end Greg White has a shoulder injury and also was limited. Gruden said Ruud and White are likely to play Sunday against the Titans. Kelly has been playing through his injury for the past two weeks.