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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Josh Freeman will refrain during season

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman addressed an incident from nearly a month ago, in which he suffered a cut on his right throwing thumb while shooting a pistol at a local firing range.

"In hindsight, it wasn't the smartest decision," Freeman said Wednesday. "Gotta learn from it. No more shooting guns in season."

Freeman first suffered a sprained thumb in an October loss to the Chicago Bears in London. The firing-range incident came right after that as the Buccaneers went through their bye week.

"With a little free time during the bye week, I like to use the gun range," Freeman said. "It's a bit of an escape. I grew up shooting guns with my dad and I've always enjoyed shooting guns as a recreational thing."

Freeman said he had fired that same pistol "countless times" without any problems. But he said something went wrong with the recoil that day.

"It's always been a bit of a hobby," Freeman said. "I always practice in safety. It was just a little bit of a freak incident."

Freeman did not miss any practice time and has played in every game since the accident. Freeman said the cut on his thumb hasn't affected his throwing.

"Really not at all," Freeman said. "The scratch on the thumb was purely cosmetic. The main thing that affected me was the sprain. Game in, game out, kept getting hit and it kept flaring back up. But it was mainly the sprain."

While Freeman's thumb injury was cleared up, coach Raheem Morris said Wednesday that his quarterback is also dealing with a right shoulder injury.

"Well, he hurt his shoulder at the end of (Sunday's loss at Tennessee) on that bobbled sneak," Morris said. "He kind of got tackled and kind of hurt his shoulder. It is sore. Right now he is day-to-day.

"We were hoping he would be a full go today, but he was limited. We will have the opportunity to hopefully evaluate him tomorrow and the day after that and get him going, to see if he can get the chance to play.''

If not, the Bucs would have to turn to backup Josh Johnson, who lasted started a game in 2009.

Pat Yasinskas covers the NFC South for ESPN.com.