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Josh Freeman to start for Bucs

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

A day after participating in his first full practice since breaking the thumb on his throwing hand in a preseason game, the second-year pro wore a baseball cap and a wrap on his hand while the rest of the team 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 exhibition against the Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 21.

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