If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thought there were just going to place Lawrence Tynes on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list and walk away from the issue, they've got another thing coming — and no, it's not just more angry rants from his wife, Amanda Tynes. Rather, the former New York Giants kicker plans to fight back and will file an expedited grievance against the Bucs, ultimately aimed at forcing them to place him on Injured Reserve (IR).
"This whole thing is wrong," Tynes told FOX Sports exclusively on Saturday. "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."
Tynes' stand isn't just that he suffered a MRSA infection, but because the team chose to place him on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list as opposed to Injured Reserve (IR). And while, on the surface, it looks like the Bucs are actually doing him a favor by paying him his full salary, that's not exactly the case,
Not only does the NFI designation remove the Bucs from liability, it also prevents an accrued season, full benefits and another season toward Tynes' pension. Ultimately, it's like an injury settlement without an actual settlement or admittance of guilt — which is something he, his family and the NFLPA will not stand for.
"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."
Since learning of MRSA infections to both Tynes and Carl Nicks, the team has scrubbed their facilities multiple times. However, it now sounds like the issue was a lingering one, with their head trainer, Todd Toriscelli, also suffering from what is suspected to be a MRSA infection.
"I'm not a doctor. I just feel bad he's been dealing with a serious infection of some sort for the past four months," Tynes said of Toriscelli.
Despite Tampa Bay's many efforts to sweep this mess under the rug, Tynes is not going to go down without a fight. Perhaps if the team acted professionally and appropriately he could have dealt with the situation differently, but after a misdiagnosis, alleged public lies (by Greg Schiano) and an NFI designation revealed via e-mail, Tynes is justified in his decision to file a grievance and demand IR designation.
Other teams have done the right thing in similar situations, so for everyone's sake, we can only hope the Buccaneers eventually brighten up and do the same.
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