Oct 11, 1:53 PM EDT

Buccaneers' Simms Doubtful for Next Game

By FRED GOODALL
AP Sports Writer

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Chris Simms' first NFL start lasted 19 plays, and it may be a while before he plays again for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Although the second-year quarterback is day to day with a left shoulder sprain, coach Jon Gruden said Brian Griese, who came off the bench to pace Sunday's 20-17 win over New Orleans, will start next Monday night at St. Louis.

"There will be no surgery. We're going to call it a sprain. He's going to be sore for a period of days," Gruden said, adding Simms will be listed as doubtful.

Asked if he expects Simms to practice this week, Gruden was not optimistic.

"It depends on how quick the soreness subsides. I would say that that's questionable at best," the coach said. "Hopefully as the week unfolds, he'll get some strength and mobility back."

The son of former New York Giants star Phil Simms was 5-of-8 for 68 yards and produced a 3-0 lead before he was hurt when Saints rookie Will Smith sacked him in late in the first quarter, causing a fumble.

X-rays taken Sunday showed no structural damage, and a MRI exam performed Monday was negative, too.

Griese, also the son of a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, replaced Simms and completed 16 of 19 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown.

Gruden shrugged off a question about whether Griese earned the starting job, which was held by Brad Johnson through an 0-4 start, or if Simms would return to the lineup when he's healthy.

"We're just going to deal with the reality of business. Chris is hurt," Gruden said. "If Chris had stayed healthy and played like he was playing, he would continue to be our starter. He's not healthy. He's hurt. Brian Griese did a heck of a job. He's starting."

Meanwhile, Gruden said the team will not trade Johnson, who has lost 13 of 20 starts since leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl victory in January 2003.

"I'm not going to answer all the rumor mill," Gruden said. "There's a lot of inaccuracies out there. Brad Johnson is a big part of this football team and will continue to be that."