Raheem Morris: Bucs open, honest about injuries
The Bucs have been under some mild scrutiny since Thursday's revelation that quarterback Josh Freeman suffered a minor sprain of his right thumb but was not previously included on the team's injury report.
Coach Raheem Morris said the Saints, after hearing of the news, reported the omission to NFL officials. But Morris insists the Bucs are not among the many teams that often engage in gamesmanship with the injury report. He added that Freeman was not included because he was unaffected by the injury, having not missed any playing time or practice time.
"Usually we just put the hurt guys on there and leave the healthy guys off," Morris said. "I don’t put guys on the list who tape up every day because I’d have all 53 players (on it) because they get their ankles taped every single day. It is what it is."
Freeman, who has had his thumb heavily taped at times this week, practiced this morning and will start for the Bucs at New Orleans on Sunday. He has shown no effects from the injury, suffered against the Bears before last week's bye. He threw the ball with good velocity and accuracy during this week's practices and the tape, according to coaches, does not restrict his throwing motion.
Regarding safety Tanard Jackson, the Bucs admitted an oversight that resulted in his being omitted from the injury report. Because Jackson left the Bucs' previous game with an injury (a hamstring strain), the team is required to place him on the injury report -- even after a bye week.
Jackson practiced today after being given a day off Thursday and will start at free safety.
Morris suggested he's done with the story.
"Listen, I don’t care," he said. "It’s for Vegas. You can do whatever you want to do there."
Regarding players who are more seriously injured, Morris said defensive tackle Frank Okam (calf) would not play Sunday. Guard Jeremy Zuttah (knee) is also expected to miss the game. He'll be replaced at left guard by Ted Larsen, who began the season as the starter. Jeff Faine returns at center after missing the Chicago game.
"We’re back to the original starting group," Morris said. "We’re as healthy as we’ve been. It’s nice to see these guys running around playing fast."