TAMPA — Quarterback Josh Freeman had more trouble with his trigger hand than first believed.
Freeman needed five stitches in his right thumb when a gun he was firing at a shooting range recoiled Oct. 31, the Bucs confirmed Tuesday.
The mishap occurred during the Bucs' bye week and eight days after Freeman sprained the thumb in a 24-18 loss to the Bears in London.
"Yes, there was a sprain," Freeman said in a text message to the St. Petersburg Times on Tuesday. "The sprain was the worst part. The cut was just cosmetic."
Freeman began wearing a wrap on the thumb Oct. 24 on the flight home from London, Bucs spokesman Jonathan Grella said. He has not missed a practice due to either injury. After viewing an interview with Freeman on the NFL Network in which he wore a wrap on the thumb, the 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, Freeman said. He received five stitches.
Freeman met with general manager Mark Dominik on Nov. 1 about what happened at the gun range, but it did not violate any terms of his contract.
Since spraining the thumb, Freeman has thrown five touchdown passes and six interceptions and has lost four straight games while the Bucs have fallen to 4-7.
The accident at the shooting range was first reported Monday in a blog on the website Buccaneers101.com.
Freeman has not had the thumb wrapped in the past two games. He said two weeks ago the sprain bothered him "maybe a little."
The Bucs, who have lost five straight games and six of their past seven, have watched Freeman's passer rating drop from 95.9 in 2010 to 74.6 this season.