Back in 2013 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in the midst of a season that doubled as a Greg Schiano dark comedy, three players contracted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at the Bucs training facilities.
The first bout of MRSA appeared at training camp when guard Carl Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes were identified to have the infection. Later in the season, cornerback Johnathan Banks became the third victim of MRSA within the Bucs locker room.
Now, Tynes is suing the Bucs over his purported $20 million dollars in lost earnings due to the “unsanitary conditions” that led to the MRSA outbreak.
Former Bucs kicker Lawrence Tynes is suing the team, saying "unsanitary conditions" led to MRSA infection in '13. Claims $20m in lost wages.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) April 6, 2015
Of the three players who contracted MRSA, only Banks is still in the NFL. Tynes and Nicks saw their careers end after their run-in with MRSA.
Tynes had previously sought to file a grievance with the NFL for the Bucs’ handling of their training facilities. Judging by Tynes’ 2014 account of his ordeal with MRSA, he isn’t likely to back down anytime soon.
Tynes, 35, said he’s been on six different antibiotics and has had three surgical procedures to remove the infection, which is in the joint of his toe. The infection surrounded the bone but wasn’t inside the bone, he said. If the infection had gotten inside the bone, amputation might have been a possibility.
Tynes’ current lawsuit also states that the Bucs “actively concealed, ongoing incidents of infection among other individuals that had used and visited the team’s facilities. They also failed to employ necessary sterile techniques and routinely left therapy devices, equipment and surfaces unclean.”
While the $20 million estimate seems high, kickers often play for a good while longer than players at other positions and it’s hard to fault Tynes for aiming high considering how complicated and difficult his fight with MRSA ended up being.