The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are as worried about MRSA, a serious staph infection, as they are about winning a conference title just weeks before the start of the NFL regular season.
The Bucs announced that guard Carl Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes are out indefinitely because of the infection and the staff is worried that other players may be infected as well, reported the Tampa Bay Times on Friday
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MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a powerful infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.
MRSA infections typically occur in people who've been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers.
"We had a company … nuke the building a week ago after the cultures taken from Nicks and Tynes confirmed it was MRSA," Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told ESPN, per the Tampa Bay Times. "It was a precautionary move, but we didn't want to fool with it. Our owners said spare no expense."
The Tampa Bay Times said it broke the MRSA news to its players on Monday.
"Our primary concern is always the health and safety of our players and staff," Dominik said in a team release, noted the Times. "Our players were informed of the situation, and we sought the advice of experts, including the NFL's medical adviser, who provided counsel and approved of our comprehensive measures, including the treatment of our practice facility."
Nicks had been recovering from November's season-ending surgery on his left big toe. He has not played this preseason but practiced for three days in Foxborough, Mass., last week.
Tynes sought a second opinion, but doctors at the New York Hospital for Special Surgery confirmed his MRSA diagnosis, the Tampa Bay Times said.
Nicks was an All-Pro two years ago with the New Orleans Saints. Tynes, who helped the New York Giants win a pair of Super Bowls, joined Tampa Bay Bucs before camp, but has not played this preseason because of an ingrown toenail on his kicking foot, according to The Associated Press
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