Josh Freeman: Thumb still an issue

TAMPA, Fla. -- I’m out at One Buccaneer Place gathering some stuff for my Friday column and some advance stuff for Sunday’s game between Tampa Bay and Carolina.

The Bucs just finished their media session and will be practicing later this afternoon. The Tampa Bay media also will be holding a conference call shortly with coach John Fox and a Carolina player. I’ll have more after the conference call and after Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris speaks after practice.

But, in the meantime, here are a few notes on the undefeated Buccaneers.

  • Quarterback Josh Freeman admitted his broken right thumb still was an issue in the victory over Cleveland and will continue to be an issue. Freeman said the medical staff has told him the thumb won’t be 100 percent until after Tampa Bay’s bye week (Oct. 3).

  • Cornerback Aqib Talib was back in the locker room after serving his one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s conduct code. Talib will practice this afternoon. He said he watched the opener on television (because he wasn’t allowed on team property during the suspension), but didn’t reflect much on the past. He talked more about the defense getting ready for Carolina’s offense.

  • Rookie defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said he’s rooting for Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen to get the start Sunday.

“If it’s his first start, I’ll be happy for him,’’ McCoy said. “And I’ll be happy for us.’’


“He’s a rookie,’’ McCoy said. “I can make a mistake and get away with it. If a quarterback makes a mistake, everybody sees it.’’