Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman was not fully participating in Wednesday's practice. As the team's other signal callers were wearing shells and helmets, Freeman donned neither and did not take part in the quarterback-center exchange drills during the initial phase of Wednesday's practice. He also did not take part in the warm-up period where quarterbacks throw to wide receivers, tight ends and running backs and was watching from the side.
“Part of the plan,” said Freeman after practice. “No setbacks.
“Its called a plan because it is put in place before something happens.”
Bucs head coach Raheem Morris said that Freeman is still scheduled to start on Sunday.
“Josh is right on schedule,” said Morris. “We had a long week, we had the two long days. You don’t want to do anything to hurt the young man. You want the young man to be ready to play in the games. Its about Sundays. Its about getting him to Sunday, getting him prepared, getting him acclimated to his team yesterday, going out there and making every single throw, coming in today and getting a little rest, being able to come out tomorrow and practice, and the next day in practice, go through the walk-through and get his mental game together. He’s a young man that is very locked in. He’s very focused.”
Freeman was seen with a splint on his right thumb, which was broken during the second preseason game of the year and forced him to miss the final three exhibition contests. The only thing he did was take some walk-through reps with the starters, pointing out some protections with the offensive line and taking a few snaps from center Jeff Faine. He did not throw the ball prior to the end of the media viewing period.
“He felt good,” said Olson. “He told myself and [QBs coach] Alex Van Pelt that it felt good. You know, it’s a little sore, but he feels good.
“Obviously he has been out, but we think he is on schedule. He took a majority of the snaps today with the ones, just as he would in a normal week. We didn’t really cut back on that – normal reps."
Freeman addressed the media on Tuesday and indicated that he was planning on practicing every day this week leading up to the 2010 season opener against Cleveland, which Freeman is expected to start.
Morris was asked if he is concerned about Freeman because he wasn't able to fully take advantage of the Bucs having an extra practice leading up to their season opener.
“I don’t. I think it is more about listening to your doctors, listening to your trainers," said Morris. "I give all those guys lots of credit for what they’ve been able to do with this young man. He’s in a splint when he has to be, when he’s on the sideline, when he’s standing around, when he’s walking in the mall, when he’s in the grocery store. He’s done everything correctly. He’s been icing it. He’s been going to meetings. He’s been flexing it. He’s been getting it rubbed on by every man in this building. You got to give him a lot of credit for what he’s been doing to go play out there, so we are going to follow that plan to a T. We aren’t going to waver on what we want to do and how we are going to get your young man out there.”