I.e., is exposure of sunlight onto the peripheral vision less damaging than exposure onto the fovea?
Behar-Cohen et al. notes the periphery of the cornea has a focusing effect:
UVR incident from the periphery is refracted into the eye, and due to the focusing effect of the cornea, UV radiation is on average 22-fold stronger at the nasal limbus, which is the typical site for pterygium and pinguecula. Moreover, UV radiation is on average eight times stronger at the nasal lens cortex, the typical site for cortical cataract.
Authors note this in further papers as peripheral light focusing. Essentially, the light is refracted from the periphery of the cornea into the anterior segment of the eye. By this notion, I'd say indirectly looking at the sun is no less damaging than directly looking at it (given there are no other restrictions, such as special lenses, etc.).