Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Friday that a third player has been diagnosed with a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection.
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.
The news comes one day after the team confirmed that guard Carl Nicks has had a recurrence of an MRSA staph infection in his left foot, an injury that sidelined him for the first two games of this season.
The potent bacteria already has ended the season of kicker Lawrence Tynes.
"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," the team said in a release Friday.
The Buccaneers are scheduled to host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The NFLPA released the following statement on Friday:
"We have been involved in an ongoing review of the MRSA incidents in Tampa Bay initiated by the concerns we had about the manner in which team officials responded to these cases.
"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."