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Giants take precautions to prevent MRSA infections



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -** At the request of both the NFL and the players association, the Giants today met to discuss their response to and answer questions about the MRSA (staph) infection that hospitalized tight end Daniel Fells.

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"We had (senior vice president of medical services) Ronnie Barnes, we had team doctors, we had the person in charge of our facility in here to talk about the way the cleaning process is normally underway, and what we have done in addition to that, as well," coach Tom Coughlin said. "So the players asked a couple of questions, very good questions. … I think most of the questions got answered this morning. The guys seemed to be able to go right back to work."

Fells contracted the infection last week and was placed on injured-reserve today.

"We are concerned about Daniel Fells, we're very concerned about that," Coughlin said. "We still do not know the reason for the infection or where it came from. But the players were all obviously very supportive of Daniel.

"They're thinking Thursday he'll be able to get out (of the hospital). I talked to him on the phone, he sounds good on the phone. He's very disappointed, obviously, but we all wish him well. He understands, as well as we do, he has a wife and family, he's got to get better, period."

This week, the areas in the Quest Diagnostics Training Center most commonly used by the players – including the locker room, training room and meeting rooms where the players work – were thoroughly and professionally cleaned.

"We are working with infectious disease specialists and we have defined protocols that we are following in consultation with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network and local infectious disease specialists," said Pat Hanlon, the Giants' senior vice president, communications.

This is not the first MRSA situation in the NFL. In 2013, at least three members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes, developed the infection.

"(We take this) very seriously," Coughlin said. "It's a very serious thing, has been that way in this league for quite a few years. Everyone has been very aware of it. You mentioned Tampa, there was a circumstance there. Actually, Lawrence Tynes, one of our players here for previous years, got involved in. So we know how serious it is, and we are taking every precaution and doing everything we possibly can. They are very, very thorough in what they've done in terms of cleaning. The basic health priorities were gone over again this morning - washing of the hands, calling attention to any type of cut or anything, anything that looks like what they call a spider bite or anything of a boil nature. Anything where the skin is turning red, those types of things.

"With Daniel, it was a different story, there was no surface injury that anybody knows of. It was an acute joint problem along with a temperature."

  • Coughlin said he spoke with Odell Beckham Jr. in the wake of reports in which several members of the Buffalo Bills criticized the second-year wide receiver for his actions last Sunday, when the Giants defeated the Bills, 24-10.

"Odell actually came to me and talked about it," Coughlin said. "Obviously, I was disappointed because I think he's beyond and above a lot of that stuff, and I think he'll put it behind him.

"He's an emotional guy. Hey let's face it, I told him, 'I want you to continue to block the way you're blocking." He flies around out there. Even the penalty he got called for on the screen, he did an outstanding job."

  • Wide receiver Myles White was signed off the practice squad to take Fells' place on the roster.

"(He is) a young guy who knows the system very well," Coughlin said. "Can play in the slot, play on the outside. He's been used with our first group in the last couple of weeks; we've only had four receivers that can participate. So we get a guy who is sharp, who's had a good preseason, who knows the system well, can adapt to all the positions, knows the signals when we're in the no huddle. And I think we kind of just keep going with a multiple position guy."

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