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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Freeman needed five stitches in right thumb from incident at local shooting range



Quarterback Josh Freeman had more trouble to his trigger hand than first believed.

Freeman needed five stitches in his right thumb when a gun he was firing at a local shooting range recoiled Oct. 31, the Bucs confirmed Tuesday.

The Halloween mishap occurred during the Bucs' bye week and eight days after Freeman sprained his thumb in a 24-18 loss to the Chicago Bears in London Oct. 23.

"Yes, there was a sprain,'' Freeman said in a text to the Times Tuesday. "The sprain was the worst part. The cut was just cosmetic.''

Freeman began wearing a wrap on his thumb Oct. 24 on the flight home from London, Bucs spokesman Jonathan Grella said. He has not missed a practice due to either injury.

But after viewing an interview with Freeman on the NFL Network in which he wore a wrap on his thumb, the New Orleans Saints complained to the league office and he was added to the injury report.

The cut was on the outside of the thumb and did not affect his ability to throw the football, Freeman said. He received five cosmetic stitches.

Freeman met with general manager Mark Dominik Nov. 1 about the incident at the gun range, but it did not violate any terms of his contract.

Since spraining his right thumb against the Bears, Freeman has thrown five touchdown passes and six interceptions and lost four straight games while the Bucs have fallen to 4-7.

The incident at the shooting range was first reported Monday in a blog on a website called

Freeman has not worn any kind of wrap on his thumb in the last two games, although he did admit two weeks ago that the sprain bothered him 'maybe a little bit.'

The Bucs, who have lost five straight games and six of their last seven, have watched Freeman's passer rating drop from 95.9 in 2010 to 74.6 this season.


[Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 5:09pm]


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