Red Zone

Former Chiefs kicker Lawrence Tynes continues to battle foot infection

Updated: 2013-10-11T19:03:44Z

The Kansas City Star

Former Chiefs kicker Lawrence Tynes continues to battle a scary infection he developed during training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tynes, 35, has filed an injury grievance with the Bucs, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, saying he picked up the potentially deadly Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacterial infection (MRSA) during training camp.

The grievance, confirmed by league and team sources, states that Tynes, who entered the NFL as an undrafted Chiefs free agent in 2001, takes medicine daily to combat the infection. MRSA is known to be resistant to some common antibiotics, including penicillin.

The infection originated in August at the site of an ingrown toenail on Tynes’ right, or kicking, foot, according to the Tampa Bay Times. A second Bucs player, guard Carl Nicks, 28, has a recurring MRSA infection at the site of a blister on his left foot, according to Tampa general manager Mark Dominik.

Worse still, the infections may not be limited to Tynes and Nicks. With concerns more players could be at risk, Bucs officials were working with representatives from the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network to determine the severity of the problem.

USA Today reported Friday that an NFL physicians survey documented 33 cases of MRSA in the NFL from 2006 to 2008, or an average of 11 per season. Among teams that had experienced cases were the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Washington. 

Tynes’ grievance states that the Bucs breached NFL protocol by placing Tynes on the Non Football Injury list after he became infected with MRSA, according to the CBS report.

Tynes’ agent, Ken Harris, told La Canfora that Tynes is still receiving paychecks but can’t receive 401k match funds or annuity benefits. He’s also “blocked from accruing a season of service towards his pension, both which have significant financial ramifications,” according to the report. The NFL Players Union wants Tynes placed on the Injured Reserve list so his benefits can accrue.

The Buccaneers declined to comment for La Canfora’s story.

CBS reported that the grievance states Tynes “required two procedures to attempt to scrape the infection out and clean his infected toe, and it remains unknown if or when he can resume training for football. Should his career be in jeopardy, there could be grounds for additional legal action ...”

The players’ union argues that Tynes wasn’t tested soon enough for MRSA, causing a delay of two weeks that allowed the infection to worsen.

In late August, Amanda Tynes, Lawrence’s wife, tweeted photos of her husband hooked up to an IV line. The text of the tweet said, “I hear my husband is responding ‘well’ to treatment. LOL! He’s NOT responding at all yet…”

The tweet was in response to an assertion by Bucs coach Greg Schiano that Tynes was “responding well” to treatment in his recovery.

Tynes was with the Chiefs in 2001-02, played for one season with the Scottish Claymores in his native Scotland, then kicked for Ottawa of the Canadian Football League, the Chiefs again in 2004-06 and the New York Giants from 2007-12.

This was to be his first season kicking for the Bucs.

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