After kicker Lawrence Tynes was placed on the non-football injury list by the Buccaneers in the wake of contracting a MRSA infection at the team’s facilities, Tynes argued that the Bucs decision was the wrong one.
“This whole thing is wrong,” Tynes said at the time. “My biggest emphasis is I don’t want this to happen to any current or future player. I’m going to fight this thing as long as I have to, because this team should not be allowed to do this to players. If I drop a 45-pound plate on my foot while lifting weights in the weight room at the facility, it’s IR. So I just don’t understand how my situation is any different. I went to work, I kicked, I practiced, I cold-tubbed, I hot-tubbed, I showered for all those days there. I come up with MRSA and it’s a non-football injury? They’re basically trying to exonerate themselves of this, and I’m not going to allow it to happen.”
The NFLPA isn’t interested in allowing it to happen, either. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith was at the Bucs facility on Tuesday and announced after the visit that the union has filed a grievance against the Bucs on Tynes’ behalf. Placing Tynes on the NFI list rather than injured reserve allows the Bucs to withhold Tynes’ salary (although they are paying him) and other benefits that he’d be entitled to if he were on IR.
Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Smith said the grievance is designed to address “significant concerns about the manner in which that player and perhaps other players’ safety was handled by the team.” Smith also said that he hopes going this route helps protect players from similar problems in the future.