by Jason Cole
October 11, 02013
NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith called “for a league-wide, comprehensive and standardized infectious disease protocol” in the aftermath of a third Tampa Bay player being infected with MRSA.
On Friday, the Buccaneers announced that cornerback Johnathan Banks had contracted MRSA. That followed a Thursday announcement that MRSA had resurfaced in the body of guard Carl Nicks. Altogether, three Bucs players have contracted MRSA since the start of training camp.
The latest outbreak created some concern about whether Tampa Bay and Philadelphia should play their game scheduled for Sunday. The game is currently planned to go on. However, the NFLPA said it was in contact with the union player representatives from both teams to make sure everyone was updated on the risks.
“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,” Smith 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.”