Former NFL kicker Lawrence Tynes filed a lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, claiming in a press release the team created conditions that led to him contracting an infection that ended his career.
Tynes, who last played in the NFL in 2011, says he contracted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at the Buccaneers' training facility in August 2013. He was one of three Tampa Bay players who were diagnosed with the illness that year. Cornerback Jonathan Banks and offensive lineman Carl Nicks also were diagnosed, but they are not part of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks $20 million in damages from the Buccaneers, claiming the amount reflects Tynes' potential earnings if he were still playing in the NFL.
The Buccaneers have not publicly responded to Tynes' suit, which alleges the team ”failed to employ necessary sterile techniques and routinely left therapy devices, equipment and surfaces unclean.”
After being diagnosed, Tynes underwent multiple surgeries to remove infected tissue. He also received six weeks of intravenous antibiotic therapy.
“Ultimately the infection was eliminated but debilitating and persistent pain remained -- permanently ending [Tynes'] professional football career,” the release stated.
Tynes played seven NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants. He is probably best known for kicking a 31-yard field goal in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFC Championship game. He also made a 47-yard field goal in overtime for the Giants against the Green Bay Packers in 2008 NFC title game.
He signed as a free agent with the Buccaneers in 2013, but never played a game in Tampa Bay.