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Griese limited; Simms waiting

Quarterback Brian Griese's sore right foot is improving, but coach Jon Gruden said it will not be clear until Sunday whether Griese can play in the season-ending game at Arizona.

Griese was able to practice more Friday than the previous two days but remained limited with strained ligaments in the foot he plants when he throws.

Second-year quarterback Chris Simms will play if Griese cannot.

"We'll make the announcement on game day," Gruden said. "All the players have a responsibility to be honest with how they feel and he's no different."

Simms made his only career start in Week 5 at New Orleans but left in the first half with an injury to his left throwing shoulder. Griese replaced him and has started the past 10 games.

AIR ASSAULT: A big passing day for the Bucs would make it a record-setting season.

They have 23 touchdown passes this season, tied for second most in team history and four shy of the record set last season. They have 3,549 yards, second to last season's 3,805.

The 7.39 yards per pass is the highest in team history, better than 7 in 1994. And the completion percentage of 67.5 is better than last season's 62.3.

UP AND COMING: Cornerback Ronde Barber is impressed with Cardinals quarterback Josh McCown, who lost his job midway through the season but is 2-0 as a starter since returning. McCown was 48-for-78 for 594 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in victories against the 49ers and Rams.

"He's coming along," Barber said. "The guy is definitely talented. He has great personnel to work with. They've turned the corner as far as production at that position."

INJURY REPORT: Tight end Dave Moore was added to the injury report Friday with a hamstring strain. Listed as questionable, Moore is the long snapper for punts and kicks and the second tight end behind Ken Dilger. Rookie Nate Lawrie and recent acquisition Billy Baber are the remaining tight ends on the roster. Also, center Sean Mahan (quadriceps) is probable.

_ JOANNE KORTH, Times staff writer