Eagles-Bucs given OK to play as scheduled

Eagles-Bucs given OK to play as scheduled

Eagles not concerned with Bucs' MRSA situation

October 12, 2013, 8:30 pm
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Sunday’s game between the Eagles and Buccaneers in Tampa will proceed as normal after the NFL and NFL Players Association both agreed that health conditions were safe enough for both teams to play.

The league and union announced in a joint statement Saturday that a staph infection contracted by Bucs rookie corner Johnthan Banks didn’t “pose a risk of transmission to other players.”

The decision came after an infectious disease specialist went through an examination process of Banks and the Bucs' clubhouse and after a meeting with the Eagles. Banks had become the third Bucs player to test positive for a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection.

The game will kick off at its normally scheduled time of 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.

"The NFL and NFLPA have worked together in response to the MRSA matter in Tampa Bay,” the statement said. “The jointly retained specialist has met with the team, supervised the inspection of the facilities, conducted medical examinations and agrees with the team medical staff that Mr. Banks does not pose a risk of transmission to other players.

“The specialist also met with team officials from the Eagles. All players have been advised of the process and we will continue to work together to jointly monitor the situation."

The Eagles flew into Tampa on Saturday and had prepared all along to play the game, despite an ESPN report that the union might encourage both teams not to play pending the results of a containment report.

Banks had become the third Bucs player since the start of the summer to be diagnosed with MRSA, a staph infection that typically resists common antibiotics. Offensive guard Carl Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes contracted MRSA over the summer.