Lawrence Tynes will miss the entire 2013 season with an MRSA infection that he believes he contracted at the Buccaneers’ team facility. And he says the Bucs aren’t doing enough to take responsibility for the situation.
Tynes told FOXSports.com that by putting him on the non-football injury list rather than injured reserve, the Bucs are depriving him of certain benefits that players on injured reserve receive.
“This whole thing is wrong,” Tynes told FOXSports.com. “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 Bucs will still pay Tynes his $840,000 salary this season, but Tynes says the team is paying him the money mostly to make it look like they’re taking responsibility. In reality, Tynes doesn’t think the Bucs have done enough.
“It’s the humanity of it — not accepting blame and then trying to sugarcoat it with the salary,” he said. “That was their PR cover-up: ‘At least you’re getting paid.’ That’s not the point. It’s wrong.”
There’s nothing Tynes can do about the fact that he’s going to be too sick to play football this season. But he does plan to do what he can to get all the benefits he believes he’s entitled to, and Tynes says the union is helping him file a grievance against the Buccaneers.