A third Tampa Bay Buccaneers player was diagnosed with an MRSA infection, the team announced Friday.
Multiple media outlets reported that cornerback Johnthan Banks is the latest player infected.
Kicker Lawrence Tynes and guard Carl Nicks were previously diagnosed with MRSA, which is a type of staph infection resistant to some antibiotics.
After missing the first two games of the season, Nicks came back and played in two games before he was diagnosed with a recurrence in his left foot Thursday.
Tynes and Nicks were first affected in August. NFL.com reported that Nicks was back on medication, but his status for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles is not determined.
An infectious disease specialist is working with Nicks to control the latest episode.
"We have been involved in an ongoing review of the MRSA incidents in Tampa Bay initiated by the concerns we had about the manner in which team officials responded to these cases," the NFL Players Association said in a statement. "We advised the NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that an outside expert should be brought in to assess the situation and we are pleased with their decision to take that recommendation.
"We have also been in regular contact with the player representatives from Tampa Bay. We will reach out to the Philadelphia Eagles player representatives today and provide them with our best medical guidance and regular updates from the outside experts.
"This underscores the need for a league-wide, comprehensive and standardized infectious disease protocol. It also calls for improved accountability measures on health and safety issues by the NFL over the clubs."
The staph infections during the summer forced the Buccaneers to disinfect their locker room.
Tynes went on the non-football injury list and has been in disagreement with the team over the designation, arguing that it is football related. The team is paying his salary.
Banks reportedly became worried about a sore on his body Thursday, and alerted team doctors. A culture was taken, and it revealed MRSA.
"This player did a great job of alerting us," Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said.
To address the fears of players, coaches and employees, the Bucs had Dr. Deverick Anderson, co-director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, fly down to Tampa to discuss the MRSA outbreak.
Bucs players said their question-and-answer session with Anderson was helpful.
"Of course, something so serious like this, you're scared and concerned, but we had one of the top doctors come in and talk with us ... that put a lot of guys' minds at ease, especially mine," said cornerback Leonard Johnson.
Anderson said Bucs players faced no higher degree of risk for MRSA than any other teams in the NFL.
"Based on my observations I didn't think there was anything very high risk," Anderson said. "I think that football in an of itself, there's a known risk factor for MRSA and MRSA infection in general. So the fact that a case or even two and now three cases occurred does not necessarily mean in and of itself that this is at any higher risk than any other football location in the country."