Banks, Bucs cleared by specialist in MRSA case

Updated: October 12, 2013, 7:54 PM ET news services

Cornerback Johnthan Banks, the third Tampa Bay Buccaneers player diagnosed with MRSA, is not a risk to transmit the severe staph infection to other players and has been cleared to play Sunday, the league announced Saturday night.

In a statement, the NFL said it worked together with the players’ association and that a “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 league also said the specialist met with team officials from the Philadelphia Eagles, whom the Bucs host on Sunday.

Banks was recently diagnosed with MRSA, the severe staph infection resistant to most antibiotics.

Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter earlier Saturday that there was a chance Banks still might face the Eagles.

The NFLPA had questioned whether the game should be played at Raymond James Stadium because of concern that the players would be at risk to contract the infection at the Bucs’ facility.

Two other Buccaneers players — kicker Lawrence Tynes and guard Carl Nicks — contracted MRSA in August. Tynes, who has since been placed on the nonfootball injury list, is still being treated for the infection. Nicks, who did not play until Week 3 because of the infection, is unlikely to play Sunday after a recurrence of MRSA this week.

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