TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms was released from St. Joseph’s Hospital over the weekend, less than a week after undergoing surgery to remove a ruptured spleen.

The fourth-year pro was injured during a loss to Carolina on Sept. 24. He took several hard hits during the game, and the Bucs originally thought he had bruised ribs and was battling dehydration when he was taken to the hospital.

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

Doctors expect the 26-year-old son of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms to make a full recovery.

It normally takes about six weeks to heal, and the Bucs have not ruled out the possibility of him playing again this season.

Simms was released from the hospital on Saturday, six days after the operation.

Rookie Bruce Gradkowski will take over as the starter when the Bucs (0-3) face New Orleans next Sunday.

AP-ES-10-02-06 1103EDT



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