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Morris hopes ailing Bucs QB Freeman can practice Wednesday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris hopes the absence of injured quarterback Josh Freeman is limited to a one-game scenario. But he's also not going to force the issue.

Freeman was held out by the Bucs in Sunday's 38-19 loss to the Carolina Panthers because of a sore right shoulder that limited his ability to throw during practice last week. Morris said he will know more once Freeman gets on the field Monday and hopes he can return to practice Wednesday, but he's not going to rush his return.

"Obviously we have to see him throw," Morris said. "We have to get him out there again today, and let him get out there and move his arm around and see what his pain tolerance is and all of those types things.

"But you don't want to hurt your quarterback any further. You want to get out there and be smart with him, figure out what he can do and how fast you can let him do it."

Making matters worse for the Bucs is that quarterback Josh Johnson separated his left, non-throwing shoulder in the loss, according to the St. Petersburg Times. Johnson missed one play to have the shoulder popped back into place, according to the report, and returned to finish the game. He went 16-of-27 passing for 229 yards and one touchdown with one interception, and he also led the Bucs with 45 rushing yards.

Morris also said cornerback Aqib Talib will have an MRI exam on the hamstring injury that forced him out against the Panthers after just four plays. Morris indicated Talib will be further evaluated later in the week.

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