- Freeman is still expected to be ready for Week 1 against Cleveland. Freeman has been training and is expected to be ready to roll on gameday. Per Mark Dominik
Right now, it's the same statement, We're confident and excited about him being able to be prepared for Week One. He's been in here the last couple days getting training and rehab. Right now, it's just a matter of his body rehabbing and healing, and being ready to go in Week One. We're still confident in that.
An interesting note is that he has not practiced since the injury (a whopping two days) and won't practice until after the Jags game at the earliest. The reason this interests me is due to the comments made by Brett Favre and Dave Morris on similar injuries (i.e. it lingered and was tough to play with). But Freeman seems to be taking this rehab as serious as he did practice in the offseason.
One more note from Dominik on this issue.
It's a lot about the swelling, it's about being able to grasp the football, being able to hold onto it and be accurate with the ball, This week, he's going to be extremely limited to almost doing nothing, just to give him a chance to get his body healthy, then we'll go from there. That's one of those things where let's see how his thumb feels and where his pain tolerance is, and really where the swelling is, to be able to grasp the football. We'll determine that next week.
While I'd like to see Freeman play in Week 1 and start (and finish) all 16 games, I would much rather err on the side of caution. Lets face it, this season is not Super Bowl or bust. I can sacrifice 1-3 games and sit Freeman to get this injury 100% healthy rather than trot him out there, have him aggravate it and then have to shut him down for the year. I'd bet that the front office has the same sentiments, though they won't voice it. To acknowledge he might sit into the regular season would be in direct conflict with what they've already said. Still, I think the team and organization know that with an early bye week, giving up 3 games for the rest of the year is for the greater good.
- The Bucs will look to add another quarterback, but before you get too excited, it looks like it is just for preseason purposes, mainly to not overextend Josh Johnson or Rudy
Pennington Carpenter. Johnson will run with the ones for a half and then give way to Carpenter according to the team.
- Derrick Ward officially suffered a mild concussion, but should be good to go on Saturday. Clifton Smith should return (and better figure out a way to impress in 2 remaining games).
- On a personal take, I'm disappointed Freeman won't go again until Week 1. Nothing we can do about it, but color me disappointed. I would've liked to see him go, not for his own development (which he could still use) but more as getting reps with Williams, whoever the #2 WR will be and Winslow. While I'm sure they went through training camp together, Winslow and Freeman haven't had game reps together yet this year, and with Stovall being hurt and a rotating door behind him, Freeman won't have a chance to get that rapport with whoever the second receiver will be. Somewhat aggravating but in a growing year for the offense, any down, distance and game situation could be used to increase familiarity and success probability for each player.