The news that a third Buccaneers player is battling a staph infection has the NFL Players’ Association increasingly concerned about why the Bucs haven’t been able to get the problem under control.
Early reports indicated that the NFLPA might request that Sunday’s Eagles-Bucs game be canceled, postponed or moved out of Tampa, but the game is set to be played as scheduled. Still, a statement from the union made clear that the players consider this a matter that the NFL needs to get a handle on.
“We have been involved in an ongoing review of the MRSA incidents in Tampa Bay initiated by the concerns we had about the manner in which team officials responded to these cases,” the statement said. “We advised the NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that an outside expert should be brought in to assess the situation and we are pleased with their decision to take that recommendation. We have also been in regular contact with the player representatives from Tampa Bay. We will reach out to the Philadelphia Eagles player representatives today and provide them with our best medical guidance and regular updates from the outside experts. This underscores the need for a League-wide, comprehensive and standardized infectious disease protocol. It also calls for improved accountability measures on health and safety issues by the NFL over the clubs.”
Buccaneers kicker Lawrence Tynes is out for the season with a MRSA infection. Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks missed the first two weeks of the season with a MRSA infection. Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks is the latest to be diagnosed with a MRSA infection and is listed as questionable for Sunday. The Buccaneers announced on Friday that they are working with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network and that Dr. Deverick J. Anderson, a leading authority on infectious disease control, addressed players and staff on Friday.