Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers are dealing with multiple MRSA infections. (J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fighting an outbreak of staph infections -- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) -- among their players and headquarters, according to a FOX Sports report.
At least two Buccaneers players are currently sidelined and being treated for the serious and often painful staph infection that can prove resistant to antibiotics, sources told FOX Sports.
It is unclear where the players contracted this, but multiple sources told FOX Sports the Buccaneers had their facility scrubbed last weekend and will do the same this weekend when the team travels for Saturday night’s road game against the Miami Dolphins. Players also were given a special soap to use.
The team has not confirmed the identity of the players dealing with the issue, although a source confirmed Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks is one of them. Head coach Greg Schiano has stated publicly that Nicks is dealing with an infected blister on his toe. There is no known timetable for Nicks’ return.
Multiple media reports say kicker Lawrence Tynes also has MRSA. He hasn't kicked in a preseason game. The team has only said he has a toe injury.
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Last week, the Bucs revealed Nicks had developed a foot infection following surgery on his left big toe.
From the Tampa Tribune:
Already limited by a surgically repaired plantar plate in his left big toe, Nicks has a blister on the other side of his left foot that became infected over the weekend.
“We had a setback with Carl,'' Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. “He did a great job up there (practicing against the Patriots) last week in New England. He practiced, I guess, the entire time. But he developed a blister that has gotten infected, so now we're treating that, and it's not something you mess around with.
“So the question is, how long will he be (out)? I don't know.”
The length of Nicks' absence isn't the only thing of which the Bucs are unsure. The team is also uncertain just how the blister developed in the first place.
Schiano said the team will give Carl Nicks five to seven days to let the medicine go to work on his foot infection before re-evaluating his playing status and possible return.