TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman was inactive for Sunday's game against Carolina, ending a streak of 36 consecutive starts.
Freeman hurt his right throwing shoulder during the Buccaneers' final offensive play of last week's 23-17 loss to Tennessee and was limited in practice during preparation for the Panthers.
The third-year pro had started every game since moving into the lineup when the Bucs were 0-7 in his rookie season. He led them to a 10-6 record in 2010, but has struggled this year. Tampa Bay (4-8) lost their sixth straight Sunday.
Josh Johnson got the start against Carolina. His backup was Rudy Carpenter, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday.
Johnson threw for 229 yards and one touchdown while also leading his team in rushing but the Buccaneers fell to the Panthers 38-19.
After throwing for 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions in his first year as a full-time starter, Freeman has 12 TD passes and 16 interceptions this season. He was injured when he dropped the snap on a fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak that was stopped for no gain.
Freeman did some soft throwing during practice on Thursday and Friday, when coach Raheem Morris said a decision on his status would be made during pregame warm-ups.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.