I am the furthest thing from being a doctor. Reading about MRSA and other skin diseases is difficult for me, because I am extremely squeamish and thinking about diseases makes me feel lightheaded. And I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t pass out at a physical last summer because the doctor started talking about signs of prostate cancer and my mind just couldn’t handle it.
But as a sports reporter and study up on MRSA, I had to do my job when reports came out earlier that the Eagles- Buccaneers game could actually be postponed because of reports that Bucs’ cornerback Jonathan Banks had joined Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes as members of the team who had fallen victim to a MRSA outbreak.
For those of you who haven’t had experience with MRSA, Deadspin gave an in-depth description of MRSA earlier and frankly I don’t think it would be in my best interests to look up everything that MRSA entails and put it in my own words, unless I want to spend the night in the emergency room.
1. It’s an antibiotic-resistant strain of a regular staph infection. You probably have some concept of a what a staph infection comprises. For the uninitiated, simply, staph bacteria, s. aureus, resides on your skin, harmlessly. When it infiltrates an open wound (or a surgical incision), though, is when infection occurs.
Yeah, so it isn’t pretty, and any open cuts that are exposed during the Eagles-Bucs game could lead to a spread of the infection if any members of the Buccaneers haven’t yet been diagnosed.
DeMaurice Smith Excecutive Director of the NFL Players Association issued the following statement this afternoon on the matter.
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.
I would be willing to bet that not to many people with have an issue if they woke up tomorrow and DeMaurice Smith was the commissioner of Roger Goodell. He is extremely well spoken, intelligent, and a good leader in times of crisis.
Anyway, any thought that the “outside experts” would request that the Eagles-Bucs game be postponed was quieted by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, who told Tim McManus of Bird’s 24/7 the following.
We are not planning anything that will affect the game.
Our office, the NFLPA, and appropriate medical specialists are working with the Bucs’ medical staff to aggressively address the matter.
George Atallah, who serves as the Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs at the NFL Players Association, had perhaps the most reassuring quote on the matter.
“We were sufficiently concerned over the last few months with the situation in Tampa that we asked for individual infectious disease experts to come into the facility and review the protocol the Bucs had, and help with the cleaning treatment efforts in Tampa. Outside experts came in yesterday as well to look at the issue with Nicks, making sure players are treated and safe.
“We have a report coming from outside experts at some point in the next few hours to ensure no player that is infected will play on Sunday. Those tests will be conducted through the weekend, and we will be in constant communication with the player reps to provide status updates as we get them.”
To me that sounds like the NFL has this under control and Sunday should be a good and safe game. Again though, I’m not a doctor, so how much should my opinion really matter to you? I just want to see what Nick Foles can do this Sunday and I hope that no one on the Eagles gets MRSA.
And don’t judge me for passing out, I broke a kids collarbone in my soccer game the other day, so I’m not that much of a p****.