TAMPA — The National Football League Players Association on Tuesday filed a grievance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on behalf of Lawrence Tynes, the kicker who’s season has been lost to a MRSA infection.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith announced the filing of the grievance during a stop over at One Buc Place, where he held an hour-long annual in-season meeting with Bucs players.
“We believe (there) are significant concerns about the manner in which that player and perhaps other players’ safety was handled by the team,’’ Smith told reporters after the meeting.
“It’s obviously the beginning of the grievance process and we look forward to working with the league, finding out what the facts are and, most importantly, take steps to make sure they and every team are protecting our players.’’
The Bucs did not respond to a request for comment.
Tynes and left guard Carl Nicks were diagnosed with MRSA infections midway through the preseason. Nicks has since returned to the team and played in the past two games, but Tynes remains sidelined.
Tynes, who has received intravenous antibiotic treatments through a PICC line for several weeks, was placed on the Non-Football Injury List by the Buccaneers.
The Bucs vowed to pay Tynes his $840,000 salary for this year, which is not required for players on the NFI list. But the decision to place him on the NFI list prohibits Tynes from receiving certain benefit that he would otherwise receive if he were on Injured Reserve, such as a year of service toward his pension.
Tynes’ agent, Tampa-based Ken Harris, said Tynes was completely heathy when he reported to training camp with the Bucs in July and has since called the decision to place Tynes on the NFI list “suspect” and “inappropriate.’’
“Lawrence knows his first battle is to get healthy, but he also knows his next battle is to fight for what’s right and the only proper designation for him is (injured reserve),” Harris told The Tampa Tribune.
Tynes contracted the staph infection after he had a procedure done to remove an ingrown toenail from his kicking foot, Harris said, adding that Tynes has the procedure done almost annually.
The team had its facility cleaned twice after the MRSA infections were diagnosed.
Tynes’ wife, Amanda, also entered into the fray, tweeting a picture of her husband sitting on a sofa with his arm connected to an intravenous tube that carried the caption, “This is our Bucs Life.’’