The expectation is that Sunday’s game between the Eagles and Bucs will be played as scheduled despite concerns about a staph infection outbreak.
A third member of the Buccaneers has been diagnosed with an MSRA infection, the team announced Friday. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that it’s cornerback Johnthan Banks.
Guard Carl Nicks had surgery on his big toe during the preseason after coming down with the infection and has since been diagnosed with a recurrence. Kicker Lawrence Tynes has also been dealing with medical issues as a result of the staph infection.
There are no immediate plans to cancel Sunday’s game in Tampa, however.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Birds 24/7: “We are not planning anything that will affect the game.
“Our office, the NFLPA, and appropriate medical specialists are working with the Bucs’ medical staff to aggressively address the matter.”
A spokesman for the Eagles said that, after speaking with the league, they are moving forward as planned. They have an afternoon flight to Tampa Saturday , and have not been told to deviate from their normal routine in any way.
Members of the NFL Players Association were holding a conference call on the matter at around 3 p.m. Friday.
Here is what George Atallah, Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs at the NFLPA, told us during a telephone conversation this afternoon:
“We were sufficiently concerned over the last few months with the situation in Tampa that we asked for individual infectious disease experts to come into the facility and review the protocol the Bucs had, and help with the cleaning treatment efforts in Tampa. Outside experts came in yesterday as well to look at the issue with Nicks, making sure players are treated and safe.
“We have a report coming from outside experts at some point in the next few hours to ensure no player that is infected will play on Sunday. Those tests will be conducted through the weekend, and we will be in constant communication with the player reps to provide status updates as we get them.”
DeMeco Ryans is the Eagles’ player rep.
Asked if it is possible that the game could be cancelled, Atallah said: “It is hard for us to rule anything out but it would be irresponsible for us to be speculative.”
A member of the NFLPA told ESPN’s Trey Wingo that, depending on what MRSA containment report says, the NFLPA could advise Bucs-Eagles not to play this weekend.
But at this point, the anticipation is that the game will be played.