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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp: 'Flesh-Eating Bacteria' Invades Bucs, Team To Have Multiple Cleanings

Greg Archuleta
By Greg Archuleta (gregory.archuleta@comcast..net) @GeigaSr
on Aug 22, 2013 10:34 PM EDT
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New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes
New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes (9) ,holder Steve Weatherford (5) and Philadelphia Eagles Kurt Coleman (42) watch as Tynes field goal attempt misses during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 30. (Photo : Reuters)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' biggest rival this preseason has become staph infections.

Not just any staph infections, but a strain called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Two cases reported last week caused the organization to shut down its facility and have it treated, ESPN.com is reporting.

MRSA is a serious staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics that normally are used to treat staph infections. Deadspin.com called it "flesh-eating bacteria."

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It can burrow deep into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs, according to mayoclinic.org. It is spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Buccaneers Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes are the reported cases, according to ESPN.

"We had a company come in and nuke the building a week ago after the cultures taken from Nicks and Tynes confirmed it was MRSA," Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told ESPH. "It was a precautionary move, but we didn't want to fool with it. Our owners said spare no expense. We had the facility treated, and the league office approved of our actions."

Tynes had to have surgery on an infected toe that was originally diagnosed as an ingrown toenail. The toe, however, did not heal and later became infected.

According to ESPN, Nicks also recently revealed that he had a staph infection on his toe that has sidelined him indefinitely.

FoxSports.com reported that a source said the Bucs discovered the MRSA outbreak while scrimmaging last week against New England. The Bucs, who were in New England, immediately ordered sanitization of team headquarters to prevent more infection.

The team will clean its facility again this weekend when the team travels to Miami for a preseason game against the Dolphins, according to FoxSports.com. Players also are washing themselves with a special soap to prevent the spread of MRSA.

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