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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Bucs' season getting more bizarre

By Pat Yasinskas

Just when you think you’ve seen everything in the NFL, along comes a story like this.

According to multiple reports (here, here and here), Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman's injured right thumb was the result of a mishap at a gun range. The Bucs initially said Freeman injured his thumb in an October loss to the Chicago Bears in London.

But, now, they’re admitting Freeman cut his thumb as he was firing a gun at a range in Tampa during the team’s bye week. Freeman never missed any practice or playing time, but was added to the injury report after the New Orleans Saints spotted the quarterback wearing a protective wrap on his thumb during an NFL Network interview. The Saints asked the NFL why Freeman wasn’t on the injury list. The league went to the Bucs and Freeman was quickly added to the list.

I don’t know if the thumb injury impacted Freeman’s ability to throw the ball. What I do know is this is another strange episode in a very strange season around One Buccaneer Place.

The Bucs have lost five straight games and players and coaches have drawn criticism for everything from effort to behavior on and off the field. That’s kind of become the norm.

But what’s unusual here is that Freeman is the one guy in the entire locker room -- maybe the entire building -- who you wouldn’t expect to be involved in some bizarre off-field incident. It makes you wonder if what seems to be a careless attitude is getting contagious?