Posted September 01, 2013

Lawrence Tynes will fight Buccaneers over staph-related injury designation

NFC South, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Uncategorized
Lawrence Tynes, near the end of his 2013 season. (AP/Chris O'Meara)

An MRSA staph infection has sidelined Lawrence Tynes for 2012 and potentially longer. (AP/Chris O’Meara)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Lawrence Tynes came into the 2013 season thinking that he’d have an NFL job, and that was a reasonable expectation. He had a career year for the New York Giants in 2012, making 33 of his 39 field goal tries, including nine from 40-49 yards, and three from more than 50 yards out. He signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers in mid-July after Connor Barth suffered an Achilles tendon injury in a basketball game, and things were going well for him. Going well, that is, until Tynes and Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks picked up MRSA staph infections in their toes. MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is an infection commonly spread in locker rooms, and it’s particularly resistant to antibiotics. The Buccaneers sanitized their facilities twice after the infections were discovered.

Tynes underwent surgery in late August to try and alleviate the infection, but it apparently didn’t take. He then went home to Kansas City and received a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) in order to fight the infection with a more aggressive course of antibiotics. In the meantime, the Buccaneers signed veteran kicker Rian Lindell and placed Tynes on their Non-Football Injury List on Aug. 31, ending his season.

There were already complications surrounding that decision. Tynes’ wife Amanda sent this photo out over Twitter on Aug. 28:

Then, there was the matter of Tynes’ place on the NFI list, and what that means. The NFI list is for players who sustain season-ending injuries as a result of things that happen off the field and away from team facilities. Thus, it would seem that the Buccaneers are abdicating responsibility for any part Tynes’ time at their facility would have played in the infection.

On Saturday, Tynes opened up to FoxSports.com’s Mike Garafolo, and said that he will fight this particular designation.

“This whole thing is wrong. My biggest emphasis is I don’t want this to happen to any current or future player. I’m going to fight this thing as long as I have to, because this team should not be allowed to do this to players.

“If I drop a 45-pound plate on my foot while lifting weights in the weight room at the facility, it’s IR. So I just don’t understand how my situation is any different. I went to work, I kicked, I practiced, I cold-tubbed, I hot-tubbed, I showered for all those days there. I come up with MRSA and it’s a non-football injury? They’re basically trying to exonerate themselves of this, and I’m not going to allow it to happen.”

While the Buccaneers will have to pay Tynes’ entire $840,000 salary for the season, he will not receive an accrued season on the NFI list per the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Nor will he receive benefits, or another season added to his eventual pension.

This puts the team in a difficult legal situation. Had they placed Tynes in injured reserve, they would essentially be admitting that the condition ending his season happened while he was under the franchise’s care, opening the door to potential litigation. But in bypassing IR, the Buccaneers have invited the ire of the Tynes family, and a possible grievance from the NFL Players’ Association.

“It’s the humanity of it — not accepting blame and then trying to sugarcoat it with the salary,” Tynes told Garafalo. “That was their PR cover-up: ‘At least you’re getting paid.’ That’s not the point. It’s wrong.”

Several players in the Cleveland Browns organization contracted MRSA from 2003 through 2008, and at least two — offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley and receiver Joe Jurevicius — received financial settlements from the team after filing lawsuits. Bentley was particularly affected by his staph infection — he was worried for a time that he might lose a leg, and he never played football again.

17 comments
BudPhyte
BudPhyte

I wouldn't call getting paid $840,000 sugar coating it.

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

Whenever I hear a story like this that makes the one side seem so guilty it always raises red flags that there is something going on that isn't being said by the Bucs. They may have an ace card they don't want to play yet. 

For them to do what they did was either stupidity or they met with team lawyers and the NFL before preceeding with some evidence.  Maybe evidence that this guy had MRSA and brought it to the facility and gave it to the other player by accident? 

We've all heard of the weekend injury that happens on Monday at work. 

AngelaLaskaMorris
AngelaLaskaMorris

MRSA is horrible.  The pain is unbearable and I can only imagine the suffering he is going through.  MRSA in the toes of a kicker can be career ending.  Anyone who makes jokes or talks smack- be careful because you can catch it anywhere.  You wouldn't talk smack if you got it.

howlett23
howlett23

guess you shouldn't have sucked in KC and maybe you'd have avoided this....

RobertJacke
RobertJacke

The Bucs are going cheap, This happened in training camp so it should considered admitting that the condition ending his season happened while he was under the franchise’s care, opening the door to potential litigation. But in bypassing IR, the Buccaneers have invited the ire of the Tynes family, and a possible grievance from the NFL Players’ Association. The Bucs will lose this one...........

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

A kicker why i am not surprised and you wonder they are treated lower than dirt in the locker room. 
 
Man the "Bleep" up at least you are being treated for it, unlike some third world country where you would just slowly die from it, you ungrateful piece of bleep

ZackSelzman
ZackSelzman

@BudPhyte Can't spend 840K if you're dead.  How much would you sell your foot for?  and you don't have a foot that's worth anything.  Kickers can kick professionally till they are 45.

 This is a completely preventable problem UV + HYPROX disinfection equipment in the NFL would stop the unnecessary ending of player carreers


JamesMartens
JamesMartens

@friendly--neighborhood--scrawler Really?  He gets an infection at the teams facilities....facilities that they failed to maintain in a sanitary fashion and you think he should be grateful that they tried to dump on him? You must be upper management in a large uncaring company or own one.

Derek6
Derek6

@JamesMartens @friendly--neighborhood--scrawler You're assuming it happened at the facility, but you have no evidence of this.  There has never been an MRSA outbreak at Bucs facilities prior to this, and his toe was injured before he even got to Tampa Bay.  Let him prove it was the Bucs fault, until then he and his ranting wife can sthu

clembo83
clembo83

@ImmaFubared @Derek6 @JamesMartens @friendly--neighborhood--scrawler It's fairly easy to believe that he could have brought the infection into the facility and the bacteria was picked up by Nicks. At the end of the day - he had a prior injury where the infection started before signing and therefore what the bucs have done seems acceptable. 

At the end of the day he is getting paid the best part of £1million state income tax free