TAMPA — Add this to the Bucs' growing list of off-field concerns: DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said Tuesday that his union has filed a grievance against the Bucs relating to K Lawrence Tynes, who was sidelined for the season after a MRSA infection in August.
Smith, meeting with Bucs players as part of a regular tour of teams, said the grievance addresses "significant concerns about the manner in which that player and perhaps other players' safety was handled by the team."
Tynes was not placed on injured reserve, but the league's non-football injury list. The Bucs are paying his salary for this season as if he were on injured reserve.
Smith said the grievance process just started, but his goal is to assure proper treatment for other players.
"We will look forward to working with the league to try to figure out what the facts are and most importantly take steps that they and every team are protecting our players," he said.
Tynes and G Carl Nicks were diagnosed with MRSA infections in August. Nicks returned to play in the past two games.
ROSTER UPDATE: The Bucs cut WR Kevin Ogletree and S Ahmad Black on Tuesday. They also placed TE Greg Byhnam on IR with a calf injury. To fill the roster spots, the team promoted WR Chris Owusu from the practice squad and is expected to add former Rutgers and Bucs WR Tiquan Underwood.
Ogletree, who signed a two-year deal as a free agent from Dallas, had eight catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Black had 36 tackles last season but the pass defense struggled in the second half Sunday as he filled in for injured starter Mark Barron. Coach Greg Schiano said he's optimistic Barron can return healthy from his hamstring injury in time for the Eagles game on Oct. 13.
FINALLY BACK: Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, who started the opener at guard, returned to practice after missing nearly three weeks with an extended illness. Carimi said he battled a bacterial infection along with mononucleosis, dropping about 20 pounds while sleeping as much as 14 hours a day. He said he's being evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
ON THE ATTACK: Schiano is again facing criticism for having his defense attack a kneeldown at the end of a game, but he said he'll do it as long as he thinks it gives him a chance to win.
"We'll always examine each play. Should we still be running it? Should we not still be running it?" Schiano said Tuesday. "I do leave it up to the players, because — I'm not naive — I know it's a controversial thing. If our players feel we have a chance to win, they want to win. Last time I checked, that's what we're getting paid to do: go win. We'll play 60 minutes. It's an organized play. People know it's coming."
Arizona had two kneeldowns at the end of Sunday's 13-10 win, and the Bucs attacked both, knocking QB Carson Palmer on his back on the first. Cards coach Bruce Arians appeared to take exception, saying Monday only that, "That's their style … I have no comment on it."
Cards K Jay Feely said on Twitter on Tuesday that the Bucs defensive linemen were apologizing for what they were doing, and Schiano said on his radio show that DT Gerald McCoy had motioned to show what was coming. Asked Tuesday how he would handle the practice if his players came to him as a group and asked not to rush the kneeldown, he said he would do what the players as a group preferred.
"As long as it's not one guy, it's the defense, sure," he said. "They're the ones doing it."