Friday, February 12, 2016

Bucs' MRSA troubles probably won't postpone game

The NFL has said it is not contemplating postponing the Eagles' Sunday game at Tampa, amidst hubbub over the Bucs announcing they have a third MRSA-infected player.

Bucs' MRSA troubles probably won't postpone game

Chip Kelly (left) talks with quarterback Michael Vick during NFL football practice at the team´s training facility, Tuesday, June 4, 2013, in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP file)
Chip Kelly (left) talks with quarterback Michael Vick during NFL football practice at the team's training facility, Tuesday, June 4, 2013, in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP file)

ESPN's Trey Wingo suggested Friday that the NFLPA might want to postpone the Eagles' Sunday game at Tampa, after the Buccaneers confirmed a third case of MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant staph infection.

The NFL, though, is the only entity that can postpone a game, and the league said it had no plans to do so.

"Our office, the NFLPA, and appropriate medical specialists are working with the Buccaneers' medical staff to aggressively address the matter," the NFL said in a statement.

The Eagles said they plan to fly to Tampa as planned early Saturday afternoon. A team spokesman said the Eagles have been in contact with the league, and that they are keeping union player rep DeMeco Ryans informed.

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There has been no issue with MRSA in the visiting facilities at Tampa.

The Bucs held a news conference Friday in which they adressed their steps to combat the MRSA problem, which began in training camp. Tampa did not identify the latest player involved, but various media reports said it is corner Johnthan Banks. Kicker Lawrence Tynes and guard Carl Nicks battled the problem over the summer, and Nicks recently saw it crop up again, necessitating more treatment.

"We've worked very strenuously, our training staff, our equipment staff, a lot of policies and procedures we've put in place, going back before August, and certainly post-August, when we had the first case," Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said. "We continue to follow those policies and procedures."

Dr. Deverick Anderson, co-director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, spoke during the news conference.

"There have been quite a few changes that, based on our recommendation, the facility has put into place," Anderson said. "And actually, additional reccommendations the facility will be using going forward."

Asked if the Bucs' facility is a safe enviornment for players and staff, Anderson said: "I can say that I believe that it is a safe enviornment for players and staff."

 Anderson said football is a high-risk activity for MRSA, and the fact that the Bucs have three cases over the past several months "does not neccessarily, in and of itself, mean that this is at any higher risk than any other football location in the country."


Meanwhile, the Eagles listed Michael Vick as "questionable" and a full practice participant on their practice report. The Friday practice is the lightest of the week, though. A "questionable" player has a 50-50 chance of playing. Nick Foles has done most of the preparation with the first team for Sunday's game.

Staff Writer
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