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Giants players, officials meet to discuss MRSA protocol

Daniel Fells of the New York Giants runs

Daniel Fells of the New York Giants runs the ball after a reception against Keenan Robinson of the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Prince Amukamara was infected with MRSA during his freshman year at Nebraska, so he knows how bad the situation can be.

"It was the worst," the Giants cornerback said Wednesday. "It's like a very, very extreme case of the flu. My body, I almost just felt like paralyzed. I didn't want to move, didn't want to get up and shower, always felt cold."

Now he and the rest of the Giants are taking steps to make sure they don't get it. Or in Amukamara's case, get it again.

As part of protocols put in place by the NFL and NFLPA after last year's outbreak of MRSA in the Tampa Bay facility, the Giants players met to discuss the team's response to tight end Daniel Fells being treated for the penicillin-resistant infection.

"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," 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 was officially placed on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday. He remains hospitalized while he is treated for MRSA, but Coughlin said doctors expect him to be released from the hospital Thursday.

"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 . . . 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."

The Giants are following the protocol established by the NFL and NFLPA in consultation with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network. That included scrubbing and disinfecting areas of the team's facility that may have been contaminated. Coughlin said the cleansing should not affect any of the team's daily routines as it prepares for Sunday's game against the 49ers.

"It's a very serious thing, has been that way in this league for quite a few years," Coughlin said. "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."

Although players were aware of the risks, there wasn't much outward concern about the situation.

"It's kind of the nature of the beast with stuff in here," Odell Beckham Jr. said. "Everybody is sweaty, dirty, and things can get passed around through scabs and scars or whatever . . . A teammate of ours has it, and they just want to make sure they control the situation so it doesn't spread to other guys."

Tight end Larry Donnell noted that he's been playing sports and football all his life.

"In Alabama we play all day and all night and play in the weirdest of places," he said. "If I can come from there and never have been exposed to it or had it before, I'm not really worried about it."

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