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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
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Bucs notes: QB Freeman takes usual reps, listed as questionable

TAMPA - Bucs QB Josh Freeman, who missed last week's game with an injured right shoulder, progressed enough to take his usual amount of repetitions with the starters Friday. Freeman is listed as questionable for Sunday's matchup at Jacksonville as Tampa Bay seeks to snap a six-game losing streak that has dropped the Bucs to the bottom of the NFC South. "No. 5 went out there today and proceeded with caution,'' coach Raheem Morris said Friday. "He practiced and looked good. We've seen him throw the ball a lot more this week and he took his usual amount of snaps today.'' Morris said the Bucs will monitor Freeman on Saturday, and his availability could be a game-time decision. Josh Johnson subbed for Freeman against Carolina in a 38-19 setback, throwing for 229 yards and adding 45 yards on the ground.
The Bucs also placed DE Tim Crowder (concussion) on injured reserve and promoted rookie S Ahmad Black from the practice squad. With S Larry Asante unlikely to play because of a hamstring injury, Black, a fifth-round pick out of the University of Florida, is expected to make his NFL debut. "It's a great opportunity for Black to put his helmet on this week,'' Morris said. "He's worked his way into this role. I told the team that I was proud of him; he did it the right way.'' Next man up Whether Freeman or Johnson is under center, Tampa Bay figures to have opportunities in the passing game as the Bucs make their first regular-season trek to Jacksonville since 2003. CBs Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox and Will Middleton are on injured reserve for the Jaguars and Jacksonville's expected starters at corner will be undrafted rookie Kevin Rutland and veteran Ashton Youboty, who joined the Jaguars Nov. 15. Jacksonville interim coach Mel Tucker said the Jags need to ramp up the pass rush against the Bucs, who rank 12th in the NFL through the air. "It's hugely important because we have to take some pressure off our back end,'' Tucker said. "The coverage has to improve and the rush has to improve to have any amount of success on Sunday.'' Extra points Granted a 24-hour extension by the NFL Thursday, the Jags sold enough tickets to avoid a TV blackout. …The Glazer Family Foundation will host a Holiday Shopping Spree for 250 disadvantaged children Saturday from 6-9 a.m. at a Target store at 6925 W. Waters Ave. …If CB Aqib Talib (hamstring) is inactive Sunday, second-year pro Myron Lewis is expected to dress for Tampa Bay. …Only the Eagles (29) and Redskins (28) have more giveaways than the Bucs (24). Each of those three clubs is 4-8.
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