Yesterday, the story broke that a third player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, cornerback Johnthan Banks, was infected with MRSA and that offensive lineman Carl Nicks had a flareup of the disease on his arms. As the day progressed, we learned that this is a lingering issue for the Bucs and that the league had called in doctors to examine and clean the entire team facility.
All sources so far point towards the game still being played and unbelievably, Banks actually starting. Both of these factors would be a huge mistake and highly dangerous for the Philadelphia Eagles.
I work nights in an emergency room and I can tell you that MRSA is not something to be taken lightly. I try to avoid those patients at all costs. It is a nasty disease and one that can stay with you for life. There is no reason to play this game on Sunday and put any of the team at risk of exposure.
There is also no reason, if Banks is infected, that he should even be allowed to step on the field. MRSA is spread through contact and open wounds and if I was DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jeff Maehl, or any receiver lining up across from him, I’d be concerned.
This is one of those moments where the teams have to step back and look at the larger picture. It’s only a game. They can somehow adjust the schedule to make it up. Yes, each game is a health risk, but this is even more serious. This is not getting injured by a hit — it is getting infected with a dangerous disease. I hope that the league and the teams make the right choice and not take the field.
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