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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Same ol' Simms; Kelly's health a concern



Coach Jon Gruden backed off Monday in his criticism of quarterback Chris Simms, but Gruden called Simms' continued backward progress in a 3-interception performance against the Falcons "mystifying" during his Monday morning press conference. Gruden also defended his decision not to stick with the running game and Cadillac Williams longer at Atlanta, bristling at suggestions he went away from it too early.

Elsewhere, cornerback Brian Kelly continues to have problems with a turf toe injury he said has been a concern of his off and on for the past three seasons. The injury's persistent nature these days has Kelly worried, which is why he plans to travel out West tomorrow to see a foot specialist. Kelly reminded us that a similar injury nearly ended Deion Sanders' career in the late 90s, and that turf toe can be a debilitating injury for a cornerback.

Kelly hopes to play Sunday against the Panthers -- with All-Pro receiver Steve Smith possibly making his debut -- but won't commit to it just yet. It was his decision to sit out yesterday's game at Atlanta, and he said his coaches were mostly supportive of his choice. Seems like it was the smart move considering the degenerative nature of this type of injury.

It's just another concern for an 0-2 team that already has many.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:43pm]


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