MRSA scare could impact Eagles game in Tampa
A third member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been diagnosed with MRSA, and while the NFL said that diagnosis should not affect Sunday's Eagles-Bucs game in Tampa, the NFLPA stated that no decicsion should be made until an "outside expert" can determine any potential threats to the safety of the players.
This past August, a MRSA outbreak was discovered within the Buccaneers when offensive lineman Carl Nicks showed signs of an infection on his foot. He was treated and cleared, but in September, the infection resurfaced. A second diagnosis later kicker Lawrence Tynes.
Now, a third player - cornerback Johnthan Banks - has been stricken with the strain.
The Eagles' current plan is to travel to Tampa as scheduled to play the Bucs this weekend. But that could change, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, if the NFLPA decides it is not safe to play after viewing a MRSA containment report.
Around 4:30 p.m., NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith released the following statement on the MRSA outbreak in Tampa:
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.
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.
MRSA is a bacterium that, through its resistance to antibiotics, can cause serious infections in humans, in some cases resulting in amputation. MRSA tends to thrive in environments populated with weaker immune systems and/or open wounds, through which it spreads far more quickly.
Nicks may need surgery.
The Bucs have been attempting to take precautions to avoid infection while sanitizing their facility.
"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. We continue to follow those policies and procedures," said Bucs GM Mark Dominik.
Speaking at the Bucs news conference, Dr. Deverick Anderson, co-director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, said his organization had been working with the Bucs and that, "There have been quite a few changes that, based on our recommendation, the facility has put into place. And actually, additional reccommendations the facility will be using going forward."
"I can say that I believe that it is a safe environment for players and staff."