Week just gets rougher for Bucs’ Banks
The Tampa Tribune, published 14 October 2013

It was a difficult week for Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie CB Johnthan Banks, on and off the field. Banks was diagnosed with a MRSA staph infection after Tampa Bay players returned from the bye week, but he was given the go-ahead to play Sunday against the Eagles. The NFL announced Saturday night that Banks was cleared.

“We were not part of the decision-making process,’’ Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said Sunday. “It was the NFL, the NFL Players Association and a third party, DICON (Duke Infection Control Outreach Network), which evaluated him two days in a row and determined that with antibiotics and the way that everything looked, they cleared him to play. I’m sure the league and the NFLPA wouldn’t have put him on the field if they were concerned.’’

Banks was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report with an illness. That’s the same designation given to G Carl Nicks, whose MRSA has reoccurred on the left foot that was first treated in late August. Nicks, who missed the first two games of the season, was inactive Sunday. Banks was credited with five tackles in the 31-20 setback, but he was victimized on two key plays as Nick Foles threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns.

After Philadelphia picked off a Mike Glennon pass early in the second half, former Clearwater Central Catholic standout Riley Cooper beat Banks down the left sideline for a 47-yard scoring catch that put the Eagles ahead for good at 21-17.

With the Eagles clinging to a 21-20 advantage in the fourth quarter, Cooper took a flip in the left flat and eluded Banks’ tackle attempt en route to a 44-yard gain. On the next snap, DeSean Jackson grabbed a 36-yard pass for his second touchdown catch of the day.

“Don’t nobody ask me nothing about MRSA,’’ Banks said after Tampa Bay’s sixth consecutive home loss. “Please, I don’t got no MRSA. I just showed up to play the game and I felt good out there.’’