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View Full Version : Chris Simms is one Tough SOB


Fruit Ninja
10-05-2006, 10:10 PM
TAMPA, Fla. -- The game was on the line and Chris Simms had no intention of abandoning his teammates.

Chris Simms

Simms

Speaking publicly for the first time since having his spleen removed after a game last month, the Tampa Bay quarterback said Thursday he's not second-guessing himself about remaining on the field with an injury that possibly ended his season.

"I want to play football. I want to be out there. It's what I love to do," the son of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms said. "We were 0-2. We were losing 17-0 and we were making a pretty good comeback. I wanted to be out there. I don't regret my decision one bit."

Simms and the Bucs originally thought the 26-year-old had bruised ribs and was battling dehydration when he dropped to one knee and needed assistance before leaving for two plays in the second half.

The fourth-year pro was given an IV, returned from the locker room and led a go-ahead field goal drive before watching Tampa Bay let the lead slip away in the closing minutes of a 26-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

It's uncertain which play Simms was hurt on, though Panthers defensive end Al Wallace was fined $7,500 for a fourth-quarter hit that Bucs coach Jon Gruden thought might have been the most damaging.

Simms said his problems began in the first quarter, when he was sandwiched by defensive tackle Kris Jenkins and linebacker Thomas Davis as he released an incompletion on Tampa Bay's second possession.

"Now did my spleen rupture at that point and start bleeding, I don't know about that? But I was in significant pain from that point on," Simms said. "I took a good number of hits after that that I'm sure didn't help the situation."

Even though the pain was unlike any he had ever experienced, Simms said it wasn't until he left the game before the last play of the third quarter that he began to suspect the injury might be more serious than cracked or bruised ribs.

By the middle of the fourth quarter, he remembers thinking he might be bleeding internally.

"Every time I stood up or looked up, I was getting a little fuzzy. The curtains were coming down over my eyes, as you've heard people say before," Simms said. "I just knew something wasn't quite right."

The quarterback lost three pints of blood by the time he arrived at the hospital, where doctors initially were skeptical of a team physician's suspicion that Simms needed a splenectomy.

"I don't think they thought I could have played as long as I did with a damaged spleen," Simms said. "After the CAT scan went over me once or twice, the tempo of all the doctors changed. There was a little more urgency. They basically told me I was going into surgery in 20 minutes."

Simms' parents flew to Tampa to be at his side. He was released from St. Joseph's Hospital last Saturday and is expected to make a full recovery.

"My father is extremely understanding of the situation I was in. Like I said, I felt like I could play. That's the bottom line. ... He told me he was extremely proud of me," Simms said.

"Mom I'm sure was a little frantic. ... She was upset, but she's a woman who's been around this sport for a while. She saw my dad get beat up and she's seen me get beat up a few times and she realizes what can happen out there."

Simms said he's comfortable that team physician Dr. Joe Diaco and the rest of the team's medical staff did everything possible to ensure his safety, noting he had an injury that's difficult to diagnose and that he insisted on staying in the game.

"I never felt like I was in danger. It's hard for an athlete to say you're in danger because we think we can play through anything," Simms said. "I told Dr. Diaco, 'I feel OK. I can play.' It's a tough position for him. Here I am telling him I can play. What's somebody supposed to do?"

It normally takes about six weeks to heal from a splenectomy, and Bucs have not ruled out a return this season. Simms isn't making any predictions, other than if he's cleared medically, he's inclined to play.

"If I feel like I can, why not play. I can't hurt my spleen again," he joked before turning serious.

"If over the next few weeks I feel like I'm on the right track, my body's responding well and I can get back into shape, I'm never going to turn down playing football. I love it too much."

BucEyedPea
10-05-2006, 10:13 PM
Thank you for the article. That he remained on the field to play was noticed by all. Just the fact that he was in the hospital for a week by today's standards, shows how what serious shape he was really in. Our season is cooked though just the same.

Basileus777
10-05-2006, 10:32 PM
Simms is pretty damn tough.

It will be interesting to see where he goes next year. Its pretty clear that he doesn't fit Gruden's WCO and would be better off in a vertical scheme. I think he would he would be perfect for the Lions and Martz.

The Bucs are my favorite for the #1 pick right now with the insanely brutal schedule. If Gradkowski doesn't show anything I wonder if the Bucs would take Quinn.

BucEyedPea
10-05-2006, 10:37 PM
Simms is pretty damn tough.

It will be interesting to see where he goes next year. Its pretty clear that he doesn't fit Gruden's WCO and would be better off in a vertical scheme. I think he would he would be perfect for the Lions and Martz.

The Bucs are my favorite for the #1 pick right now with the insanely brutal schedule. If Gradkowski doesn't show anything I wonder if the Bucs would take Quinn.
Rumor has it in Bucland that Gru may be adjusting his ways by allowing the shot gun formation just for Grads as that's been his way of playin." Gru has never used it, not even with Simms. Seemed inflexible on it. Some fans felt it was better for Simms with his arm.

We'll see about Grads. Unfortunately he doesn't even have a veteran QB to mentor him. Few fans are expectin' much though.

Rain Man
10-06-2006, 08:49 AM
In other news, Junior Siavii is available to any team as a free agent, and he's willing to sign a contract at any time. However, they'll need to come to his house to sign it because his knees are feeling a little bit sore today.

Skip Towne
10-06-2006, 08:58 AM
Why don't the Bucs go find Major Applewhite? He rescued Simms enough times at Texas.

BucEyedPea
10-06-2006, 09:11 AM
Why don't the Bucs go find Major Applewhite? He rescued Simms enough times at Texas.
Ha!Ha! I was kinda hopin' they'd try to get Griese back, because Griese wanted to be a starter. Seems they're gonna just go with the youth and let it all rebuild. The D isn't even the same dominant force it was, gettin' old but it appears losing Marinelli has been a bigger factor.