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Report: CB Johnthan Banks is third Bucs player to contract MRSA

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Carl Nicks is dealing with a reoccurrence of MRSA and is one of three Tampa Bay players to deal with it. (USATSI)
Carl Nicks is dealing with a recurrence of MRSA and is one of three Tampa Bay players to deal with it. (USATSI)

With the Buccaneers sitting at 0-4 this season and with the Josh Freeman saga finally beginning to blow over in Tampa Bay, it's now time for more bad news for the Buccaneers.

With the reoccurrence of MRSA in guard Carl Nicks and with kicker Lawrence Tynes still unable to play because of the antibiotic-resistant staph infection, the Buccaneers announced Friday that another player had contracted MRSA.

That player, according to NFL.com, is cornerback Johnthan Banks.

At a press conference Friday, the Buccaneers said they could not confirm the player's identity.

Here was part of the Buccaneers press release: “Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) Co-Director Dr. Deverick J. Anderson, recognized as the country's leading authority on infections disease control, addressed the team and Buccaneers staff earlier on Friday.

“Over the past two months the Buccaneers organization has been working with the world-renowned DICON and other infectious disease specialists to treat and educate its players, sanitize its training facility and install new health and safety protocol.”

On Friday, Anderson told reporters that the cases involving Nicks and Tynes were not related, but he was unsure about the third occurrence. Schiano said after the third player was diagnosed, the organization decided to bring in an expert to talk to the team.

The problem with Nicks' condition, said Anderson, was that the infection had traveled to the bone, which increased the likeliness of a recurrence.

But good news, everybody. Everything is in tip-top shape now.

But that might not be the end of it. The NFLPA today ESPN on Friday that, depending on what the containment report says, the union could advise the Buccaneers and their opponent, the Eagles, not to play this weekend.

Here's NFLPA spokesman George Atallah:

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, though, says that postponing the game is unlikely.

Writes La Canfora: "The union is awaiting more reports and updates from specialists on the infection and the situation in Tampa and is likely to issue further instructions to players and make a statement after doing so."

Here's what the NFLPA had to say in a statement released Friday afternoon:

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.



On the season, Banks, who was taken in the second round of the 2013 draft, has an interception and 10 tackles.

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