The Buccaneers should have their starting QB back and ready for their season opener against the Browns. Josh Freeman had the soft cast removed from his fractured right thumb Monday, and he expects to return to practice next week.
Freeman suffered the injury when his hand hit the top of a helmet in a preseason game against the Chiefs 10 days ago. "We've got it immobilized and it's definitely healing," Freeman told Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.
Backup QBs Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter have gotten work in Freeman's absence this preseason. Freeman, Tampa's first-round draft pick in 2009, started the final nine games of the '09 season for the Bucs.
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