Published September 10, 2013
NFL placekicker Lawrence Tynes is blasting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for placing him on the non-football-injury list, after he says he contracted a deadly superbug at one of the organization’s facilities, Fox Sports reported.
Tynes said he had elected to have a procedure on July 30 to fix an ingrown toenail on his kicking foot, and four to five days later, he noticed his toe was red and swollen. After taking various antibiotics to try to fight the infection, Tynes went to the doctor to have a culture taken, and the results revealed he had contracted Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Since his diagnosis, 35-year-old Tynes has been on six different antibiotics and has had three surgical procedures to remove the infection, which is surrounding the joint of his toe, according to Fox Sports. He even had a PICC line - a peripherally inserted central catheter – inserted so that antibiotics could be administered straight to his system.
Tynes is not alone in his illness, as his teammate Carl Nicks, who plays as an offensive guard, has also been dealing with an MRSA infection. Though he wouldn’t go into details about how he thinks he contracted the superbug, Tynes told Fox Sports that “the individuals that have tested positive for staph or MRSA, we feel very strongly about where it came from."
However, the Buccaneers are not as certain. Rather than place Tynes on Injured Reserve (IR), the Buccaneers have agreed to pay his base salary while he is on the non-football-injury list this season – a move that implies Tynes has no proof that the MRSA infection originated from their facility. Athletes who go on IR are also entitled to their full salary, as well as an accrued season, full benefits and another season toward their pensions.
Because of what Tynes believes to be misdiagnosis and mistreatment of his condition, he said he is no longer staying silent on the issue and that the NFL Players Association is helping him to file an expedited grievance, potentially forcing the Buccaneers to place him on Injured Reserve.
"This whole thing is wrong," Tynes told Fox Sports. "My biggest emphasis is I don't want this to happen to any current or future player. I'm going to fight this thing as long as I have to, because this team should not be allowed to do this to players.
MRSA is a serious infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to antibiotics. Many MRSA infections can occur in people who have recently been admitted to hospitals or other health care settings, and the bacteria can remain inside a person's body for weeks or even years. According to Fox Sports, MRSA infection spread among several players of the Cleveland Browns in 2005.