Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman tests sore shoulder in practice, is still questionable

TAMPA — QB Josh Freeman threw soft passes in practice Friday, the first time he tested his sore right shoulder this week. Freeman is listed as questionable against the Panthers, but his final status won't be determined until just before Sunday's game.

"I did a little bit, but today really isn't important," Freeman said. "Same status. I'm just listening to the trainers and trying to ease into it, you know?"

Freeman was injured on a fourth-and-1 sneak in Sunday's 23-17 loss at Tennessee.

Backup Josh Johnson has taken most of the repetitions with the first-team offense this week. But Freeman's improvement has been encouraging.

"He'll be a game-time decision, and we'll take it right up until the last moment of truth out there, so we'll see," coach Raheem Morris said. "He went out and threw the ball around a little bit. Still limited. … The first couple days he didn't throw it as much. He threw it a little (Thursday), he threw it more today."

Freeman has 35 consecutive starts since taking over as a rookie from Johnson after the team's 0-7 start in 2009. Morris said because Freeman prides himself on playing through injury, the team will have to watch him closely.

"He won't tell me (how he feels), there's no doubt about it," Morris said. "That's why we've got to have doctors around. He's one of those guys that wants to lead like that, think like that. Everybody wants to be Brett (Favre), and Brett set a great example for all these young quarterbacks and what the standard looks like and the model looks like. It's one of those decisions you've got to make as a head coach."

Johnson went 0-4 as a starter in 2009. But he is a more mature quarterback and has had a good week of practice, Morris said.

"Josh Johnson had a spectacular week of practice," Morris said of the fourth-year player. "We talked about the kid being very motivated, talked about the guy going out there and really being prepared. When you have a week like this and he takes all the reps, you can see how prepared he really is and how much he really wants it and how much he's been paying attention. Those things are helpful for me."

DT Brian Price, carted off with a right ankle sprain Sunday, returned to practice and is listed as questionable. DE Michael Bennett, who missed last week's game (groin), did not practice and won't play. DE Adrian Clayborn (back), DT Albert Haynesworth (knee), LB Adam Hayward (foot), S Tanard Jackson (hamstring) and LB Dekoda Watson (groin) are probable.

MILDCAT OFFENSE: One element Johnson could bring is the spread option or a version of the wildcat offense that he has operated this season (five carries, 17 yards).

"That could be different, but we've been running it, so teams have film on it," Johnson said. "It's just now if I'm in there as the full-time quarterback, it can be different scenarios in the game and we can sneak one of those in there and they might not be exactly as prepared for it as if I was just coming in for one play."

The Broncos are 5-1 since turning to QB Tim Tebow and their version of the spread option.

"We have had some success running it here," Johnson said. "They're doing a great job with it (in Denver). They're doing a lot of different types of variations of the spread than we're doing, but he's having success with it. I'm pretty sure, since he's doing well, a lot of coaches might look into it. But (Tebow) and I are two different kind of guys. He's 240 (pounds). He can take those beatings. I try to keep it so I can maintain mine. I'm only 210."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman tests sore shoulder in practice, is still questionable 12/02/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 2, 2011 8:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.