Returning 21 of their 22 starters, hopes were high for the Bucs going into the 2006 season but a Week 3 season-ending injury to QB Chris Simms meant rookie Bruce Gradkowski was thrown into the fire of the NFL when he was clearly not ready and the hopes of the offense went down with him. The defense looked old too often and it took a couple of last gasp victories over Cincinnati and Philadelphia to remove the Bucs from the ranks of the winless. Only two more wins followed in the remaining 10 games whilst the injuries mounted up on a constant basis.