TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 13, 2004) -- Leaving the broadcast booth for another chance to play in the NFL was an easy decision for Jason Garrett.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed the 12-year veteran for insurance while quarterback Chris Simms recovers from a sprained left shoulder that's likely
to keep him out of an Oct. 18 game at St. Louis.
Garrett, who played in 40 games with nine starts for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, was with Tampa Bay during training camp. He was released
Aug. 31 and later joined Fox Sports as a color analyst for NFL games.
Coincidentally, he was working the Bucs-Saints game Oct. 10 in New Orleans when Simms was injured while being sacked late in the first quarter of a
20-17 victory. An MRI found no structural damage, however Simms has not practiced and is doubtful to play against the Rams.
Brian Griese, who came off the bench and went 16-for-19 for 194 yards and one touchdown in his Bucs debut, will start the Monday night game. Brad
Johnson, the starter through the first four games, will be the backup.
"Chris is unable to throw, but he is getting better," coach Jon Gruden said. "He feels much better today than he did yesterday. There are some good
signs, but it doesn't look like he's going to be able to throw any time soon."
On Oct. 10, the Bucs approached Garrett about the possibility of returning even before leaving the Superdome.
"It was really an interesting set of circumstances and I didn't hesitate. I knew I wanted to come back and play," Garrett said.
"Out of respect for the position," Gruden added, "we felt it was necessary to bring a guy back who knows our stuff."
Simms, meanwhile, called it "frustrating" to not be able to finish his first NFL start.
"I just looked forward to it for so long, and when it finally got here to have something like this happen, it's just annoying more than anything," the
son of former NFL quarterback Phil Simms said.
At the same time, the second-year pro lauded Griese's performance.
"Of course I wanted to be out there and be successful, but Brian is a great quarterback," Simms said. "He is completely capable of moving the ball
down the field. ... More power to him. He played great last week, and he'll play good again this week."
In other moves, the Bucs claimed receiver Adrian Madise off waivers and released receivers Marcus Knight and Derrick Lewis. The club also juggled the
practice squad, signing receiver Kevin Youngblood and releasing tackle Issac Hilton.