After a month of mystery surrounding the circumstances of Josh Freeman’s hand injury, “Thumbgate” has been solved, or at the least somewhat explained.
Buccaneers PR director Jonathan Grella and Freeman both stated Tuesday that the sprain was a result of an injury sustained in the London-hosted Bears-Bucs matchup October 24 and that Freeman’s hand was wrapped on the flight back from London. However, both also confirmed on October 31 Freeman had a mishap at a local gun range which required five stitches.
"My thumb got sprained in the Chicago game and got cut at the range," Freeman wrote in a text message to the Tampa Tribune. "The cut was only cosmetic and didn't affect my play. The sprain, on the other hand, lingered for a few weeks.''
Published reports also stated that Freeman met with general manger Mark Dominik following the incident to explain what happened, but the gun range mishap did not violate any terms of Freeman’s contract according to sources.
Freeman has struggled in his third season with accuracy and some have questioned how much the injury may be contributing to Tampa Bay’s recent slide. After beginning the season 3-1, the Buccaneers have dropped six of their last seven games and now enter the last five games of the season with a 4-7 record.