The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled to play a football game in Tampa Bay on Sunday. Or, maybe not. Three Tampa Bay players have been diagnosed with MRSA infections and the Players' Association (NFLPA) may recommend that the game be postponed for the safety of the players, according to ESPN analyst Adam Schefter in a tweet yesterday.
George Atallah, Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs at the NFLPA, said this on Twitter concerning the situation:
All of our focus at this time is to work with the players, the club and the NFL to best contain, eliminate and treat MRSA.
Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik told a press conference yesterday afternoon that the team has been working with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) for three weeks. DICON Co-Director Dr. Deverick Anderson is quoted by the Bucs as telling the press
Having worked closely with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I believe they are following the best practices and recommendations to reduce the transmission of MRSA.
In August, Tampa players Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes were diagnosed with infections by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Nicks was diagnosed with a recurrence on Oct. 10, and the team announced yesterday that Johnthan Banks had become the third player with the infection according to the Bleacher Report from CNN.
Tweets after yesterday's press conference from Albert Breer of NFL.com explain the situation:
- The NFLPA will wait for the DICON report before making a decision on how to advise everyone move forward in the MRSA case.
- Asked if union could advise postponing Bucs/Eagles, sources say unlikely. Report would have to be bad. Either way, it's a med decision.
- 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.
- League has kept the Eagles in the loop, of course. And as we said, the DICON report is really the only thing that could change the plans.
The Centers for Disease Control believes that about two percent of the population carry MRSA bacteria. The infection is spread through contact with infected wounds, sharing personal items like towels or razors and through skin-to-skin contact. Athlete are at great enough risk the at the CDC has a webpage titled Prevention Information and Advice for Athletes. The CDC describes MRSA as:
MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics. In the general community, MRSA can cause skin and other infections.