Right on schedule: Bucs rest Freeman, but he'll start Sunday

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman was limited in practice Wednesday, although the team said he remains on course to start in this weekend's season opener against the Cleveland Browns.

One day after Freeman participated in his first full practice since breaking the thumb on his throwing hand during a preseason game, the second-year pro wore a baseball cap and a wrap on his hand while the rest of the Bucs worked out in helmets and shoulder pads in preparation for Sunday's opener.

Bucs coach Raheem Morris said limiting Freeman during what amounted to an extra day of practice was part of a plan to ensure the 22-year-old is able to play this week. The coach said Freeman will practice Thursday and Friday and is "right on schedule" to start against the Browns.

"We had the long week. You don't want to do anything to hurt the young man," Morris said. "You want the young man to be right on schedule to play in this week's game. It's about Sundays. It's about getting him to Sunday, getting him prepared."

Freeman missed the last two weeks of the preseason after banging his right thumb on the helmet of a pass rusher during an Aug. 21 preseason meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Backups Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter filled in during drills Wednesday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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