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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Shaky Freeman pushes through shoulder pain



JACKSONVILLE -- As late as Saturday evening, after the Bucs’ arrival here in Jacksonville, there remained some uncertainty about the status of QB Josh Freeman.

Having missed last week’s game against Carolina with a shoulder injury, Freeman returned to practice late last week and, after testing his arm in pre-game warm-ups, took the field as today’s starter.

But he admitted it wasn’t without some discomfort. And Freeman continued to battle the difficulty he was experiencing when his shoulder got cold – such as during timeouts and during defensive series – something that resulted in it stiffening up.

Freeman was 16 for 30 for 181 yards, throwing two interceptions. It wasn’t his best day, but the Bucs had no second thoughts about playing him.

“Obviously, he didn’t play well,” coach Raheem Morris said. “But you put him out there. You’ve got to play him. He was healthy. We make no excuses about it. He took a couple (hits) and was able to get back up.

“Obviously, you can’t say (he played) without pain. He played through it. He’s a fighter. This guy is for his team. He wants to go out there and win for them. But we won’t make excuses that he had bad throws because of his bad shoulder. We had bad throws because of decision-making. I wouldn’t put him out there if he wasn’t ready to go.”

[Last modified: Sunday, December 11, 2011 8:11pm]


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