Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who had the soft cast removed from his fractured right thumb in anticipation of resuming practice next week.
Freeman fractured the tip of his right thumb in a preseason game against Kansas City 10 days ago and the Bucs expect him to return in time for the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against Cleveland.
"Definitely, I'm making progress," said Freeman, who watched Monday afternoon's workout from the practice field. "I'm in just a splint now and everything's right on schedule. We've got it immobilized and it's definitely healing. I'd like to be back on the practice field starting with our preparations for the Cleveland game next Monday."
Coach Raheem Morris continues to be optimistic Freeman will be ready when the games count.
"I trust him enough to let him go out on the field this week," Morris said. "Everything's going the right way for him … everything's on schedule. I'm not supposed to say this, but Josh was out there gripping a ball the other day."