TAMPA — Josh Freeman threw for 287 yards and a touchdown, LeGarrette Blount ran for 127 yards and a score, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Indianapolis Colts, 24-17, on Monday night.
Freeman, who ran for a touchdown early in the game, scrambled for a huge first down on the winning drive as the Buccaneers (3-1) won their third consecutive game.
The Colts fell to 0-4 for the first time since 1998, Peyton Manning’s rookie season. Manning has watched all four games, unable to play because of a neck injury.
Curtis Painter started this one, filling in for injured backup Kerry Collins and played better than most expected. Painter threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, both long ones to Pierre Garcon. He wasn’t nearly as effective down the stretch.
Buffalo: Starting left tackle Demetrius Bell will miss at least a week with an injured right shoulder.
Chicago: Offensive lineman Chris Spencer has a broken bone in his right hand. Coach Lovie Smith said that Spencer will “hopefully” be ready for next Monday night’s game at Detroit.
Cleveland: Center Alex Mack was scheduled for surgery to have his appendix removed after arriving at the team’s facility with symptoms of appendicitis.
Denver: Despite the Broncos’ stumbling start, Kyle Orton remains entrenched as the starting quarterback even as Tim Tebow fans clamor for him to get more playing time. Coach John Fox reiterated that a change at quarterback isn’t the cure-all with the Broncos (1-3) coming off a disheartening performance at Green Bay. Running back Willis McGahee said fans calling for Tebow need to get over it.
N.Y. Jets: Linebacker Bryan Thomas is out for the season with a torn left Achilles tendon after suffering the injury in a 34-17 loss at Baltimore on Sunday. Thomas is in his 10th season with the Jets and is their longest-tenured player.