On Askew, 5:10 p.m.
FB B.J. Askew practiced in a limited fashion for the second straight day on Thursday, an encouraging sign that the Pro Bowl alternate could be in the starting lineup on Sunday in San Francisco.
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, as usual, is cautiously optimistic.
"I don't know. It's hard to say," Gruden said. "He's making strides. He's clearly not 100 percent but it's great to have him back out there."
At least the Buccaneers feel a bit more comfortable than last week. Rookie FB Byron Storer proved capable as the primary fullback last week and the Bucs had no qualms releasing Zack Crockett when they needed a roster spot for TE Jerramy Stevens. Even if Askew can't play, at least they know Storer is capable of giving them solid play.
You can read Gruden's complete post-practice transcript if you're a premium subscriber. He also talked about the trip to San Francisco and Stevens' possible increased involvement in the offense.
Injury report, 5:08 p.m.
Here is Wednesday's injury report (the 49ers have not reported their injuries yet):
BUCCANEERS: Did not practice — DE Patrick Chukwurah (hamstring), LB Ryan Nece (groin); Limited in practice — FB B.J. Askew (ankle); Full practice ¬— RB Michael Pittman (ankle), DE Greg Spires (calf). 49ERS: Out — QB Trent Dilfer (concussion); Limited participation — WR Arnaz Battle (ankle), RB Frank Gore (ankle), CB Marcus Hudson (knee), RB Michael Robinson (shoulder), CB Shawntae Spencer (quad), LB Jeff Ulbrich (ankle).
There were no changes to the injury report.
Playoff tickets, 5:06 p.m.
Don't forget that playoff tickets — a limited number — go on sale at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday. You can purchase them through Ticketmaster. You can also call the team at (813) 879-2827 or toll free at (800) 795-2827 for more information on how to get tickets.
Tuna's a Dolphin, 1:04 p.m.
The NFL Network is reporting that Bill Parcells has signed a 4-year deal with the MIami Dolphins to be their director of football operations.
Tuna done fishing?, 10:37 a.m.
According to ESPN.com, Bill Parcells has agreed to take over the Miami Dolphins in a management capacity. I say "agreed" because you never know with Bill. Look what he did to the Falcons yesterday. Read more at cbs4.com.
At Bucsblitz.com, 10:30 a.m.
Jeff Garcia is getting ready for an emotional return home to San Francisco, where he grew up in nearby Gilroy and played the first five years of his NFL career. You can read more about Garcia's emotions about leaving SF four years ago, and his return, in my feature at Bucsblitz.com by clicking here.
An unlikely historical figure, 9:28 a.m.
The more we delve into the life of Micheal Spurlock — now the reigning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week — the more he seems an unlikely candidate to erase one of the NFL's most dubious streaks. But he did last weekend, and Roy Cummings outlines why Spurlock was such an unlikely suspect in this blog entry at TBO.com.
Grading the rooks, 10:25 a.m.
Remember three years ago when we thought the draft class of Cadillac Williams, Alex Smith and Dan Buenning was pretty good? That's the danger in grading a draft class on just one season. That's why most NFL personnel men refuse to grade a draft until after the third season. Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune makes that point, but even he can't ignore the contributions of rookies like Gaines Adams, Tanard Jackson and Arron Sears this season. Read more at TBO.com.
Settling a score, 10:22 a.m.
Expect a lot of chatter about Jeff Garcia this week, and it's already begun. The Bucs QB is making an emotional return to San Francisco, his first NFL home and where he grew up. Here's Rick Stroud's take on Garcia at Tampabay.com.