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Bucs GM says Simms' health not an issue

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 30, 2007) -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen disputed a published report that quarterback Chris Simms has a sore arm and might wind up being placed on injured reserve.

Simms had surgery last September to remove his spleen and has struggled to regain his passing touch. He's competing in training camp with two other quarterbacks for the backup job behind starter Jeff Garcia.

The St. Petersburg Times reported on its Web site that the 26-year-old quarterback, who has been limited in practice the past two days, might be a candidate for injured reserve.

"Chris, as all quarterbacks who go through training camp, deal with different soreness," Allen said. "We have some defensive linemen who have sore elbows, sore shoulders from pounding. Nothing unusual. I saw the report, headline and all that. That's inaccurate."

Simms and coach Jon Gruden were not available for comment after the Bucs canceled a special-teams practice because of an afternoon thunderstorm. The quarterback did participate in a morning session.

"I'm not going to get into medical conditions of our players, but he did practice today," Allen said.

"Does Chris feel he's at his 'A' game right now? Probably not. He missed a lot of time last year with his injury. But he's been this offseason working very hard, and he wants to get back into rhythm. There's no doubt about that. And, he will work to get there."

Simms was injured when he took several hard hits during a loss to Carolina in Week 3, then missed the remainder of last season.

On July 29, Gruden said the quarterback's health is not an issue.

"He wouldn't be out here playing if he wasn't healthy," the coach said. "He's got to pick up his play. That's the big thing."

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2007, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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