3rd NFL Player in Tampa Gets MRSA Infection

Players' union says the league needs to ramp up protection

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 12, 2013 6:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – Game called on account of staph infection? The Buccaneers and Eagles are playing tomorrow as scheduled, but the NFL players' union considered telling members to skip it after a third Tampa player was diagnosed this week with a nasty MRSA infection, reports Bleacher Report. Rookie Johnthan Banks is the unlucky one, with teammates Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes diagnosed previously, reports the Tampa Bay Times. MRSA is resistant to most types of antibiotics, and the league, the team, and the NFLPA are trying to figure out why Bucs players are falling victim.

“This underscores the need for a leaguewide, comprehensive and standardized infectious disease protocol,” says DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the union. MRSA infections have cropped up before in the NFL over the last decade, notes the New York Times, in part because of the ideal conditions for it: It's a physical game that causes cuts and bruises, which the players then bring into the locker room. Kicker Tynes was diagnosed over the summer, and his case got a dose of publicity when his wife took to Twitter to refute a team statement that he was "responding well" to treatment.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks in a file photo from practice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks in a file photo from practice.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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