NFL, NFLPA statement on Buccaneers MRSA issue

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A specialist has determined Tampa Bay cornerback Johnthan Banks does not pose a risk to other players, making him able to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

A jointly-appointed specialist hired by the NFL and its players association has determined that Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks will not risk infecting other players with MRSA, according to NFL PR's Greg Aiello.

The full statement from Aiello's Twitter feed:

The NFL and NFLPA have worked together in response to the MRSA matter in Tampa Bay. The jointly retained specialist has met with the team, supervised the inspection of the facilities, conducted medical examinations and agrees with the team medical staff that Mr. Banks does not pose a risk of transmission to other players. The specialist also met with team officials from the Eagles. All players have been advised of the process and we will continue to work together to jointly monitor the situation.

Bucs Nation: More on the Bucs

Banks is the third Bucs player to contract MRSA. The findings mean he could play Sunday against the Eagles, and Banks was already listed on the injury report as being questionable with an "illness."

Earlier in the week, it was announced that teammate Carl Nicks' MRSA infection had returned. Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes were diagnosed with the antibiotic-resistant staph infection earlier in August, but Nicks returned after Week 2. Tynes is out for the year.

With the recent news of a potential outbreak, the NFL Players Association pushed for an independent specialist to be brought in to the team's facilities to investigate the health concern.

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