Following MRSA Scare, Eagles vs. Buccaneers Will Not Be Postponed
After the MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) results came in, the National Football League Players Association will not advise the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles against playing their Week 6 game.
Adam Schefter of ESPN passed along the initial report, which was originally conveyed to colleague Trey Wingo by the NFLPA:
NFLPA tells @wingoz that, depending on what MRSA containment report says, the NFLPA could advise Bucs-Eagles not to play this weekend.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 11, 2013
According to CDC.com, MRSA is "a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections. In medical facilities, MRSA causes life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections."
UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 13
ESPN's Adam Schefter sheds light on the availability of two Buccaneers players dealing with MRSA heading into Week 6:
Buccaneers G Carl Nicks, battling MRSA, is not expected to play today; Bucs CB Johnthan Banks, also battling infection, is expected to play.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 13, 2013
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com followed:
UPDATE: Saturday, Oct. 12
From NFL PR's Greg Aiello:
The NFL and NFLPA have worked together in response to the MRSA matter in Tampa Bay. The jointly retained specialist has met with the team..— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) October 12, 2013
..supervised the inspection of the facilities, conducted medical examinations and agrees with the team medical staff...— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) October 12, 2013
...that Mr. Banks does not pose a risk of transmission to other players. The specialist also met with team officials from the Eagles.— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) October 12, 2013
All players have been advised of the process and we will continue to work together to jointly monitor the situation. (End of statement)— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) October 12, 2013
UPDATE: Saturday, Oct. 12
From Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
The belief is that there is no additional risk to players and no determination that the infection currently exists in Bucs stadium facility— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 12, 2013
UPDATE: Friday, Oct. 11
From CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora:
NFLPA statement on MRSA outbreak in TB applauds NFL for agreeing to their suggestion of bringing in outside expert to assess the situation— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 11, 2013
Tampa Bay originally dealt with MRSA infections back in August. At the time, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes had been impacted.
Buccaneers confirm Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes were afflcted with MRSA infections. More on NFL Insiders, 3 ET, ESPN.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 22, 2013
The issue popped up again yesterday. Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports stated that further testing on Nicks showed what was believed to be a recurrence of the infection.
Filing to @FOXSports1: Cultures taken from Buccaneers G Carl Nicks are once again showing MRSA in his foot. Believed to be a reoccurrence.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 10, 2013
Then it was announced the infection had spread to a third player, rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Source: #Bucs CB Johnthan Banks is the latest Tampa Bay player to have contracted MRSA.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 11, 2013
Albert Breer of NFL.com provided a little more clarity:
As it stands now, the NFL is working with the Bucs and union on MRSA, but is not planning anything that would affect the Bucs-Eagles game.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 11, 2013
Bottom line: Neither the league nor union anticipates having to move the Bucs-Eagles game, with the DICON report being the variable here.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 11, 2013
It's clear the Buccaneers have a problem on their hands. Making sure it gets contained before it spreads to more players or even other teams is critical, which is likely why the NFLPA is proceeding with caution until the containment report is released.
Postponing the game would be a major step to take. Tampa Bay has already had its bye, which means the team doesn't have an open week between now and the end of the regular season to play if the game was forced out of this week's block.
Furthermore, the Eagles are contenders in what's developing into a very weak NFC East. It adds another layer of issues to the situation, because canceling the game would have an impact on the playoff race. And yes, it would also impact the huge realm of fantasy football.
Nothing will be officially decided until the report comes back. But the NFLPA must look out for the players, and it could put the league in a difficult position if it's deemed unsafe to play.
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