TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tampa Bay quarterback Brian Griese will miss the rest of the season after tearing ligaments in his left knee.

Griese was injured during the second quarter of Sunday’s 27-13 victory over Miami, and just before Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline the Bucs acquired Tim Rattay as a backup for Chris Simms and Luke McCown.

Griese helped Tampa Bay to a 5-1 start.

, was not available for comment.

“It’s a shame. … I hate to see it happen to him,” said Simms, a third-year pro who takes over as the starter.

The Bucs have a bye Sunday, so the team has two weeks to prepare Simms for his third NFL start and also get Rattay, who began the season as the starter in San Francisco, acclimated to a new offense.

“I try not to get into the specifics of where people fit in,” Gruden said of Rattay. “But we didn’t bring him in here to hold a clipboard forever.

“Last year we started three different quarterbacks. In 2002, we started three different quarterbacks. There’s a chance, based on recent history, we’re going to start three this year. Hopefully we don’t.”

Simms relieved Griese against the Dolphins and completed six of 10 passes for 69 yards.

The son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms replaced Brad Johnson as the starter in the fifth game last season, but lost the job to Griese when he was injured during his first start.

“It’s his turn now. We won’t have a short leash,” Gruden said.

Simms, however, isn’t ready to say the Bucs are his team.

“Last year when I was in this situation, I don’t know if you could say the team was mine, even when they handed me the reigns,” he said. “All I can do is go out and play to the best of my ability and just go from there.”

Griese was injured when Miami linebacker Zach Thomas rolled into his leg. Gruden declined to confirm reports that the quarterback had torn ligaments.

“I don’t know the official jargon. I’ve heard MCLs and ACLs,” the coach said. “He’s hurt. He’s out for the year. He’ll have season-ending surgery shortly.”

Rattay, who lost the 49ers’ starting job to No. 1 overall draft pick Alex Smith, was playing golf when he learned of the trade Tuesday. He caught a redeye flight to Tampa, arriving about two hours before practice.

He’s looking forward to working with Gruden, who has a reputation for developing productive quarterbacks. There are similarities between the Bucs’ offense and the system Rattay learned in San Francisco when Steve Mariucci coached there.

“There’s obviously a lot of new terminology I’ve got to learn,” Rattay said, adding he’s excited to join a team that appears equally excited to get him. “Now I’m eager to go out and prove myself to show them they weren’t wrong.”

AP-ES-10-19-05 1444EDT


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