Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman suffered a minor injury to his thumb during a shooting range incident, The Tampa Tribune reported Tuesday.
Freeman received five cosmetic stitches to his right throwing hand after an unexpected gun recoil cut his thumb.
The Bucs had managed to keep the Oct. 31 incident under wraps, until questioned about it by The Tribune on Tuesday.
Before acknowledging the mishap, the team reported that Freeman had sprained his thumb during the late stages of the Bucs’ 24-18 loss to Chicago in London on Oct. 23.
According to the report, Freeman did return from London with a wrap around his thumb because of the sprain.
Luckily for Freeman, the gun incident took place during the team’s bye week. The stitches were removed a week later, according to The Tribune, and the 23-year-old did not miss any practice time.
Tampa Bay has lost all four games since the bye week, but Freeman’s completion percentage during that span has been slightly better than his overall percentage for the season. He has completed 62.4 percent of his passes the past four weeks, compared with 61.8 percent for the season.
However, Freeman has not had the breakout year that was widely anticipated before the start of the season. The third-year player out of Kansas State has thrown 16 interceptions — second most in the NFL — compared with only 12 touchdowns. His 74.6 passer rating ranks 26th among the league’s quarterbacks.