The NFLPA and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have jointly announced that the third Buccaneer to contract MRSA was in fact Johnthan Banks, but that he poses no risk of transmitting the infection to others and he is cleared to play on Sunday.
This is somewhat encouraging for the Buccaneers, who could not afford to miss Banks for an extended period of time. The rookie has been a key part of the Bucs’ defense this season, surpassing Leonard Johnson as the best “non-Revis” corner in Tampa.
It’s also encouraging that it was an independent medical organization which confirmed that Banks and the facility were safe for a game on Sunday. The Buccaneers released the entire statement on their Twitter feed.
However, there has been no further news about Carl Nicks’ status.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com also reported that the independent doctor brought in to examine the Bucs and their facility confirmed that he found no evidence the infections originated in the building, instead citing a source that said multiple strains of the infection were brought in from outside the facility.
This means it’s been simply incredible bad luck on the part of the Bucs to see multiple players infected by different strains of MRSA at the same time. But it is encouraging that to some extent that there’s no evidence that the Buccaneers were irresponsible about maintaining a safe, healthy working environment.