NFLPA recommends outside expert to assess MRSA outbreak; NFL, Bucs agree

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The NFLPA has recommended to the NFL and the Buccaneers to seek an outside expert's assessment of the MRSA outbreak in Tampa Bay's facilities.

UPDATE: On Friday, the NFLPA released a statement on the MRSA situation, welcoming the league's and the Buccaneers' decision to seek an outside expert's opinion:

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.

The NFL Players Association could advise that Sunday's Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles game be postponed after a third case of staph infection among Bucs players was confirmed Friday, Albert Breer reports.

While sources indicate a postponement advisory is unlikely, the NFLPA will wait for the results of a Duke Infection Control Outreach Network report before moving forward.

Results from that report would "have to be bad" for the union to ask for a postponement, sources told Breer. Kickoff is currently scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik confirmed in a press conference Friday that a third player has been diagnosed with a MRSA infection. Although Dominik would neither confirm nor deny which player it was, reports indicate it's cornerback Johnthan Banks.

Guard Carl Nicks and former kicker Lawrence Tynes were diagnosed during an outbreak at the Buccaneers training camp facility in August. Nicks, who missed the first two games of the season recovering from the infection, learned earlier this week that the infection has returned to his foot. The NFLPA filed a grievance on behalf of Tynes on Oct. 1, claiming the team did not follow proper protocol when placing him on the reserve/non-football injury list following his diagnosis.

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