Lawrence Tynes is kind of angry at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team is trying to place Tynes on the non-football injury list, while paying his salary. That would mean not admitting any kind of responsibility in Tynes' contracting MRSA, while still giving him some money. But Tynes is angry because this means he won't be receiving benefits, and he'll be filing a grievance with the NFLPA, the kicker told Fox Sports.
"This whole thing is wrong," Tynes said by phone Saturday afternoon. "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.
"If I drop a 45-pound plate on my foot while lifting weights in the weight room at the facility, it's IR. So I just don't understand how my situation is any different. I went to work, I kicked, I practiced, I cold-tubbed, I hot-tubbed, I showered for all those days there. I come up with MRSA and it's a non-football injury? They're basically trying to exonerate themselves of this, and I'm not going to allow it to happen."
Tynes noted that historically, teams have placed players who have contracted staph or MRSA on injured reserve, preserving their benefits. And really, I don't see why they wouldn't. Yes, it's possible that Tynes had contracted MRSA outside the facility -- but at this point there's no way of finding out whether that's the case. And, frankly, the place where he gets his medical treatment is quite simply the most logical place to contract MRSA. And that would be the team's facility, presumably.
But that doesn't mean the team has been negligent in any way. It happens. MRSA is an issue in all medical facilities, and the Bucs responded swiftly and, it seems, adequately. Given that, why would they want to effectively screw over Tynes over benefits?
Of course, this is a Buccaneers fansite. And as such, we may have a tendency to automatically choose the sides of the Bucs. After all, he's attacking 'our' team, right? We have to defend the team! That's all fine when it comes to fan arguments, but this really has very little to do with the Buccaneers' on-field product. They're not being unreasonably assaulted, here. They are simply handling this issue poorly.
This isn't the first thing the Buccaneers have mishandled in this case, either. When they discovered the two MRSA cases, the Bucs didn't think it was necessary to alert people regularly working in the building. Instead, they tried to cover it up, and it didn't come out until Fox Sports did some investigative reporting. Why? Who knows. I still can't think of a valid reason not to issue a press release on the matter.
Similarly, I can think of a reason why the Buccaneers may not want to put Lawrence Tynes on IR -- but it seems like an exceedingly weak reason, when you think about it.