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Buccaneers QB Freeman regrets bye-week visit to gun range

If he had to do it over, Josh Freeman wouldn't have gone to the gun range during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' bye week.

After spraining his right thumb during a Oct. 23 game against the Chicago Bears, the quarterback cut the digit on his throwing hand eight days later after an unexpected recoil while firing a gun at a Tampa range.

Freeman, who grew up shooting guns with his father, said Wednesday that shooting a gun with a sprained thumb wasn't the wisest decision.

"I like to use the gun range as a bit of an escape," said Freeman, who insisted the cut requiring five stitches hadn't affected his performance or grip on the football. "In hindsight, it wasn't the smartest decision, but I've got to learn from it. No more shooting guns in season."

Freeman said he met with Bucs general manager Mark Dominik after the accident. Bucs coach Raheem Morris reiterated the quarterback used poor judgment but wasn't overly critical.

"It is what it is," Morris said. "These guys are 23 years old, and it's our job to make them more responsible and grow up a little bit."

Morris said Freeman also hurt his right shoulder Sunday on a quarterback sneak that was stopped for no gain, sealing a 23-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The third-year pro didn't throw in practice Wednesday, but he participated in some drills.

Morris said it was an "organizational" decision to hold Freeman out of passing drills.

"He probably could have threw it. I didn't ask him to," Morris said. "He went out there, handed the ball off, executed our run plays, did all that stuff in the running game."

If Freeman doesn't play this weekend for the Bucs, who will try to snap a five-game losing streak Sunday at home against the Carolina Panthers, Josh Johnson would start.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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