Not only was Bucs starting quarterback Josh Freeman's evening over against the Chiefs after he banged his right thumb on the helmet of Kansas City outside linebacker Tamba Hali, Freeman is expected to miss the rest of the preseason with the injury. Team officials tell Pewter Report.com that Freeman is expected to return to practice in September and be ready to start against Cleveland in the 2010 regular season opener.
Freeman left the game after one series with the thumb injury on his throwing hand. He finished the game completing 2-of-4 passes for 21 yards and ended his preseason completing 6-of-8 passes for 74 yards and one touchdown. This is a significant injury for Freeman, who was expected to see action possibly into the second quarter of the Chiefs game and the first half of next week's game at Jacksonville.
Quarterback Josh Johnson rebounded from a poor, turnover-plagued showing in Miami to complete 6-of-10 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in relief of Freeman against Kansas City.
“That’s what I expect Josh [Johnson] to do," Bucs head coach Raheem Morris said. "When a quarterback goes down, you always have a big foot to fill with those starters. Freeman went down and we’ll go find out what’s going on in the locker room. Note that the team didn’t blink and continued to play. We’ve got to finish up that two-minute drive on defense better and we’ll feel better about going into the halftime right now.”
Johnson, who will get the start the next Saturday when Jacksonville comes to town, played a quarter and a half before giving way to Rudy Carpenter, who played the entire second half.
The Bucs also had a couple other serious injuries. Running back Derrick Ward left the game in the third quarter after suffering a concussion. Ward, who guaranteed a big game against the Chiefs after a poor showing at Miami last week, rushed for only 11 yards on five carries prior to the injury.
Undrafted rookie free agent defensive lineman Brandon Gilbeaux sustained a knee injury in the third quarter.