Lawrence Tynes has finally spoken, and he’s not happy that the Buccaneers put him on the non-football injury list, a move that keeps the team from assuming liability over his MRSA infection and denies him certain benefits.
In an exclusive interview with Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, Tynes revealed that he and the NFL Players Association will file an expedited grievance to force the team to place him on IR so he can receive full benefits, an accrued season, and another season toward his pension.
The Bucs offered to pay his salary as a compromise, but placing Tynes on IR would mean the team accepts responsibility for the infection and could be subject to a lawsuit. Tynes wants them to accept responsibility for it and fears other players could be hurt by this same situation in the future.
“This whole thing is wrong,” Tynes said. “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.”
“Historically, other teams have done the right thing,” Tynes said. “Other players who have had staph or MRSA, the appropriate designation is IR.”
Since being diagnosed with MRSA, a serious staph infection that is high resistant to antibiotics, Tynes has been on six different antibiotics. He’s also had three surgical procedures to remove the infection, which did not get to the bone but got inside the joint of his toe.
Tynes was asked where he thought he may have contracted the infection. He would not provided specifics but stated, “The individuals that have tested positive for staph or MRSA, we feel very strongly about where it came from.”
Tynes has dropped six pounds just this week and recently had a PICC line inserted to deliver antibiotics into his system. He told Garafolo he fears this could be the end of his career, and he doesn’t like how it’s being swept under the rug.
“It’s the humanity of it — not accepting blame and then trying to sugarcoat it with the salary,” he said. “That was their PR cover-up: ‘At least you’re getting paid.'”