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Buccaneers treat facility after staph infections are discovered

Carl Nicks is one of two Buccaneers players recently diagnosed with staph infections. (Chris O'Meara/AP)Carl Nicks is one of two Buccaneers players recently diagnosed with a staph infection. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have treated their facility after an outbreak of MRSA, a serious staph infection that has affected at least two players -- guard Carl Nicks, and kicker Lawrence Tynes. Both players have toe infections, and, according to ESPN, Tynes underwent surgery this week to alleviate the problem. The Buccaneers signed kicker Ryan Lindell on the same day Tynes underwent his procedure. Head coach Greg Schiano informed the team of the issue last week. The facility will be scrubbed again when the team is in Miami for their preseason game against the Dolphins.

The Mayo Clinic website lists Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as "caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections."

"We had a company come in and nuke the building a week ago after the cultures taken from Nicks and Tynes confirmed it was MRSA," Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. "It was a precautionary move, but we didn't want to fool with it. Our owners said spare no expense. We had the facility treated, and the league office approved of our actions."

Mortensen reported that Tynes sought a second opinion after he was originally diagnosed with an ingrown toenail, which failed to heal. The New York Hospital for Special Surgery confirmed the MRSA diagnosis.

As Alex Marvez and Mike Garafolo noted in a FOX Sports article, 32 dfferent NFL players were diagnosed with MRSA between 2005 and '08 before the league really addressed the problem. The most notable group of occurrences happened to the Cleveland Browns between 2003 and '08. Tight end Kellen Winslow, receiver Joe Jurevicius, offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley, receiver Braylon Edwards, safety Brian Russell and linebacker Ben Taylor were the officially diagnosed players. Several of those players sued the Browns' organization, claiming that the team did not provide a sterile environment, and team doctors failed to warn that proper precautions were not taken.

Jurevicius, who had six different procedures to deal with the effects, settled his suit in 2010. Bentley, who was concerned at one point that he might lose his left leg as a result of the infections, did the same in 2012.

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