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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Josh Freeman will start, Aqib Talib out for Bucs



On a chilly, wet and windy day here at EverBank Field, Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman is set to return to the starting lineup against the Jaguars.

Freeman missed last week's game, a loss to the Panthers, with a shoulder injury sustained two weeks ago against the Titans. He returned to practice on a limited basis during the past several days but admitted a slight setback on Friday. Still, Freeman is on the field throwing in warmups and doesn't appear to be holding back.

The Bucs will make No. 3 quarterback Rudy Carpenter inactive today, indicating that there isn't much concern about Freeman's ability to finish the game.

In other roster news for the Bucs, Tampa Bay will be without cornerback Aqib Talib today. Talib, battling a hamstring injury for several weeks, was unable to practice during the past week and was unable to make it through last week's game against Carolina. Talib hasn't shown much improvement, making his status something to watch during this final month of the season.

Third-year player E.J. Biggers will start in Talib's place, and backup Elbert Mack is expected to take on the role of nickelback, the third cornerback who plays extensively when the Bucs use five-defensive back lineups.

The Bucs' remaining inactives include receiver Sammie Stroughter, safety Larry Asante (hamstring) and tackle James Lee.

[Last modified: Sunday, December 11, 2011 11:52am]


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