Freeman's day of rest "part of the plan"
Update 3:38 p.m. Coach Raheem Morris said that the fact QB Josh Freeman was a spectator for most of today's practice was all "part of the plan," taking advantage of the extra day of preparation to rest his fractured right thumb. But Morris said there's been no setbacks, and Freeman will return to full participation Thursday and expects him to start Sunday in Cleveland.
While the rest of the team was in helmets and pads, Freeman wore a baseball cap, with his right thumb wrapped as he watched other QBs Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter. Morris said it wasn't so much concern about his thumb responding, rather the team listening to its trainers and following the plan "to a T."
"Josh is right on schedule," Morris said. "We had the long week, the two long days, you don't want to do anything to hurt the young man," Morris said. "You want the young man to be right on schedule to play in this week's game. It's about Sundays, it's about getting him to Sunday, getting him prepared."
Update 3:04: QB Josh Freeman said after practice Wednesday that him sitting out of the workout was "part of the plan" and there was "no setbacks" with his fractured right thumb.
Developing: It's too early to tell what this means, but QB Josh Freeman was more of a spectator in the early portion of Wednesday's practice that was available to the media.
Freeman, who went through his first full practice Tuesday since fracturing his right thumb three weeks ago, was without his helmet and pads, and watched fellow QBs Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter going through hand-off drills and individual drills with receivers. The practice is open to the media for just the first 30 minutes, but by all appearances, it looked like Freeman would not be participating.
Coach Raheem Morris had said Freeman responded well to taking the full amount of snaps in Tuesday's practice, and looked forward to him progressing throughout the week. The Bucs could be giving his right thumb a rest, and, as a precaution, limiting him in this practice. Or it could be more, meaning his expected start Sunday against Cleveland may be impacted. We'll find out for sure when Morris addresses the media after the workout.
-- JOE SMITH