The Tampa Bay Buccaneers say a third player has been diagnosed with MRSA, a staph infection that is resistant to many common antibiotics.
General manager Mark Dominik made the announcement Friday, a day after confirming guard Carl Nicks is being treated for a recurrence of MRSA.
Dominik and coach Greg Schiano declined to identify the third player involved in the case diagnosed late Thursday, saying the player requested his name not be released.NFL.com reported the player was rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks. The second-round draft pick out of Mississippi State is questionable for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia.
The NFL Players Association requested that an outside expert be brought in to assess the situation. Nicks, who along with kicker Lawrence Tynes was diagnosed as having MRSA in August, also sat out practice.
The initial cases were confirmed while the Buccaneers were in Foxborough holding joint practices with the Patriots before a preseason game.
Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was suspended without pay for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. Winslow, the team’s leading receiver with 17 catches, begins his suspension Sunday, when the Jets face the Steelers . . . Champ Bailey (sprained left foot) will make his 2013 debut Sunday when the Broncos host the Jaguars . . . Oakland running back Darren McFadden (hamstring) practiced for a third straight day and coach Dennis Allen was optimistic that he will play Sunday against Kansas City.
Suh’s fine upheld
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh lost an appeal of the $100,000 fine against him for his hit on Vikings center John Sullivan in the season opener. The fine was the largest in league history for on-field conduct, not including money lost due to suspensions. Suh has been fined six times and suspended for two games for a total of $342,794 . . . Safeties Will Hill of the Giants and Jerron McMillian of the Packers were fined $15,750 each by the NFL for striking a defenseless opponent in the head area. Hill’s hit came on Eagles rookie tight end Zach Ertz. McMillian hit Lions tight end Tony Scheffler, who sustained a concussion.
Cassel gets start
Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the Vikings against Carolina, a seemingly inevitable decision finally confirmed by coach Leslie Frazier. Cassel helped the Vikings get their first victory with a solid performance in London against Pittsburgh Sept. 29, a game Christian Ponder sat out of because of a broken rib. Ponder was cleared to play this week, though . . . Bears middle linebacker D.J. Williams will miss the remainder of the season because of a chest injury. The 10-year veteran ruptured his left pectoral muscle tendon during Thursday night’s 27-21 victory over the Giants. In the game, Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall and Tim Jennings had two of Chicago’s three interceptions against Eli Manning. The Bears (4-2) snapped a two-game slide, while New York is 0-6 for the first time since the 1976 team dropped its first nine games.