Cleveland Browns Face Ongoing Staph Infections

Taylor LunemannCorrespondent INovember 5, 2008

Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly known as staph infections, are starting to become more common in sports today.

Staph infections are sometimes caused in athletes after surgical complications which can sometimes cause infection. Although the skin bacteria, in most cases, tend to be very minor, they can be potentially life threatening.

The Cleveland Browns have been plagued by staph infections in the last four years with six reported cases. Two of the bigger named players have been Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow.

Despite the Browns taking preventative measures by having infection control officials visit facilities in the past to provide basic prevention processes, the players continue to have problems.

The organization needs to do something about this as it is no coincidence that it has plagued their team six times in four years.

When Winslow was hospitalized, it was not released that he was there because of a staph infection in his surgically repair knee. This led to a bit of drama between Browns officials and Winslow, as he did not think they handled it properly.

The confrontation led to a one-game suspension for the Browns tight end, and even though the Browns topped the NFC East-leading New York Giants that week, it is hard to maintain a good chemistry on a team when one of your pro bowl players is having troubles with management and gets suspended.

This does not make Winslow the victim at all. He was probably looking for trouble after being frustrated with yet another injury and looked to take out his frustration in the wrong way.

The Browns cannot continue to have these problems. Fans and experts had high expectations for this team before the season started and they have been a disappointment for the most part.

I am not implying that staph infections are the main reason for their struggles, but it is one of those things that can be avoided and not added to the list of problems.

The more serious infections can prevent a player from playing an entire year, as is the case with Joe Jurevicious. He recently stated that he has had six procedures on his knee since January, and there are more to come.

One of the worst case scenarios for a professional athlete is having to face consistent operations that push comebacks further away. He is not going to the Cleveland Clinic anymore to have his operations done—many players have lost faith in it, which is completely understandable.

Instead, the Ohio native travels to Colorado for his procedures. He vows to return in 2009, which would be great for the Browns—they'll be getting back their third string, old, slow, and injury-prone wide receiver.

The Browns need to clean the dog pound soon, because their injuries could be prevented if they managed to take some precaution when dealing with their players.

It is safe to say that most Browns players will not be using their team’s facilities for their procedures in the future.

So as fans begin to make fun of the Browns, saying they should change their mascot to big fuzzy staphylococcus aureus bacteria named Staphie, management should consider taking this a bit more seriously. They cannot afford more losses to their team in one of the tougher and more competitive divisions in the NFL.