Chris Simms did not practice Sunday and was unavailable to speak with the media, but Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden assured everyone that his fourth-string quarterback was in the house.

"He's just finishing whatever rehab he's doing," Gruden said. "He's supposedly going to be ready soon."

Ready for what?

A trade, perhaps?

Simms' future remains to be seen, but for now the Buccaneers have as many quarterbacks on their 53-man regular-season roster as they do running backs, a development Gruden described as "unprecedented."

The decision to keep Simms -- along with veteran starter Jeff Garcia and youthful backups Luke McCown and Bruce Gradkowski -- likely was encouraged by Tampa Bay ownership after GM Bruce Allen rushed to sign Simms to a two-year, $14.5 million contract extension last December.

Plus, had Simms, 27, been cut Saturday, he probably would have been claimed by NFC South Division rival Atlanta, headed by former Bucs GM Rich McKay, who drafted Simms in 2003.

"Chris Simms is a guy with promise," Gruden said. "We have three young guys with some experience and talent. We have a veteran guy we're high on. We're not in a hurry to lose a guy we deem as a good player at that position."

49ers: Rookie running back Thomas Clayton was among the eight players signed to San Francisco's practice squad. Clayton, a sixth-round pick, led the NFL in exhibition-season yards rushing, but was among the 49ers' final cuts Saturday.


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Others on the 49ers practice squad are receiver Dominique Zeigler, safety Darnell Bing, fullback Zak Keasey, tight end Zac Herold, linebacker Mark Washington and offensive tackles Harvey Dahl and Damane Duckett.

Bills: Linebacker Keith Ellison is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle, and Coy Wire will replace him when Buffalo opens the season against Denver on Sunday. Ellison was hurt in the second quarter of Buffalo's 16-13 win at Detroit on Thursday. He did not attend practice Sunday, but was spotted walking on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his right foot in the locker room afterward.

Redskins: Tight end Chris Cooley has signed a six-year, $30 million contract extension, ESPN.com reported. Cooley was scheduled to earn a base salary of $850,000 for 2007. The contract includes $14 million in guaranteed money.

Eagles: Veteran lineman Kimo von Oelhoffen signed a one-year contract with Philadelphia, ESPN.com reported. Von Oelhoffen was released by the New York Jets on Saturday.

Steelers: Pittsburgh locked up offensive lineman Kendall Simmons to a four-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2011, ESPN.com reported. Simmons agreed to a four-year extension that makes him a little less than $24 million in new money with $7.85 million in guarantees.

Rams: Offensive lineman Todd Steussie was placed on injured reserve Saturday, two days after he broke his left foot in the team's final exhibition game. The move was made after team medical personnel revised their estimate for the former Cal player's recovery, which had initially been six to eight weeks. The Rams now believe he'll be out at least eight weeks.

Seahawks: Defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs has been placed on injured reserve. Tubbs left the field on the back of a motorized cart with a right knee injury during the Seahawks' 19-14 exhibition win over the Raiders on Thursday.