TAMPA, Fla. — Could Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman be declared inactive Sunday? It’s possible.
It appears the Bucs are considering making Freeman inactive Sunday following a whirlwind week for the five-year veteran.
Two days after making the switch from Freeman to rookie Mike Glennon — and naming Freeman the Bucs’ No. 2 quarterback — coach Greg Schiano was vague Friday when asked if the former starter will be the backup Sunday when the Bucs host the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium.
“Ninety minutes before the game, I’m going to name who our 46 active players are, the guys that are up,” Schiano said. “We’re going to play. I’m locked in now, and our team is locked in. I am done discussing all that other stuff.”
This is quite the spiral for Freeman, who exited training camp as the Bucs’ clear No. 1 option behind center. After avoiding local media since his benching, he gave ESPN an interview Thursday, unauthorized by the team, where he suggested a trade would be the best option for his future. When confronted by reporters Friday near his locker at One Buc Place, Freeman smiled slightly and declined comment before walking into a training room.
Clearly, something has changed between Freeman and the team since Wednesday. That afternoon, Schiano announced the quarterback change but kept Freeman as the backup. When asked Wednesday to name the backup quarterback, Schiano had a brief response.
“Josh Freeman,” he said.
On Friday, Schiano was asked about the backup quarterback situation again, and the coach’s answer leaves Freeman’s status for Sunday questionable at best.
“Ninety minutes before, I’m going to name our actives and inactives,” Schiano said. “That’s how we’re going to go.”
If Freeman were to be declared inactive Sunday, Dan Orlovsky would back up Glennon. Orlovsky, a nine-year veteran, played one game last season and went 4 of 7 passing for 51 yards.
Freeman was benched after he went 43-of-94 passing with 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions through three games. His 59.3 passer rating and 45.7 completion percentage ranked last in the league among starters.
Meanwhile, wide receivers Vincent Jackson (ribs) and Mike Williams (hamstring) were limited in practice Friday and are questionable for Sunday.
Jackson and Williams missed practice Wednesday and Thursday. However, Williams said he was “100 percent” confident he would play Sunday when asked about his condition Thursday.
“They did some stuff,” Schiano said Friday. “They will be questionable for the game. Both of them.”
Jackson leads the Bucs with 15 catches for 265 yards. Williams is second on the team with 11 catches for 126 yards and one touchdown.