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Buccaneers QB Freeman shows off brace for minor thumb injury

Nice catch by Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times.

Watching Josh Freeman's interview on NFL Network's "Around the League" on Wednesday, Holder noticed the Bucs quarterback wearing a brace on his throwing hand, to protect what a team spokesman later called a very minor thumb injury, according to the newspaper. (Quick sidenote: It's not visible in the embedded video, but there it is in the screen capture to the right.)

Freeman suffered the injury in the team's loss to the Bears in London on Oct. 23, but played through the game and hasn't missed practice since. The Times reported that he's thrown the ball well this week.

Freeman's season has been tainted by 10 interceptions, after throwing just six in 2010, but he says there's a good reason for that.

"I feel a lot more comfortable with our offense, you know, I feel like I'm seeing things, and sometimes I want to take some more chances," Freeman said. "I want to force the ball downfield. Understanding that fine line between forcing it and taking your checkdown, I mean, that's something where you might have to cut back a little bit, preserve on your possessions and turnovers ... our coach always says, 'Live to play another down.' "

Freeman and the Bucs look to do just that Sunday in New Orleans against Drew Brees and the Saints, in a game Freeman describes as "going into a hornet's nest."

The Freeman-Brees clash raises a question: Does any division in the NFL house a more promising stable of passers than the NFC South? Along with these two, you've got Matt Ryan in Atlanta and, of course, a rather stunning rookie outing by Cam Newton in Carolina.

An arms race for years to come in a league growing more pass-happy by the minute.

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