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Published:December 19th, 2009 22:27 EST

St Louis Rams Cancel Practice Because of Undisclosed Amount of Swine Flu Cases for Team Members

By Ron G Anselm

With the NFL Playoffs approaching, the Christmas season in full-swing and families getting ready to fill those stockings hung by the chimney with care, some NFL teams are taking many precautions to make sure their players don`t fall victim to one of the most widespread epidemics this country has seen in many years, the Swine Flu.

One NFL team, the St. Louis Rams have already been hit with the swine flu and some of their players have fallen victim to the widespread pandemic.  The Rams cancelled practice last Thursday as a precautionary measure due to an undisclosed number of players reporting they had flu like symptoms. The rest of the team was seen driving out of the parking lot to go and get the swine flu vaccine after talking with the Rams medical personnel.

Coach Spagnuolo said, It`s really more of a precaution than anything. "(2009, ESPN, Spagnuolo) when he called off the Rams Thursday practice. The Rams quarterback Kyle Boller and center Jason Brown missed the Wednesday practice with flu like symptoms. Spagnuolo was asked what other players had flu like symptoms but declined to comment since he did not want to give out any incorrect information  or give out any incorrect names of other players that may be suffering with either the swine flu or flu like symptoms.

Each NFL team has a practice squad made up of second and third string players that are normally on the team to fill in for the practices and the NFL now makes accommodations to teams with six or more first string players or starters out with the swine flu by letting the team use up to six players off their practice squad to fill in for the starting players out with the swing flu but so far no team has had to do this.

Lately, and in this football season; we have seen more and more players on Sunday playing in games with flu like symptoms. As a football player even if you are injured you will do just about anything to be able to play. Even when you are still injured or sick and the coach and medical personnel ask you how you are feeling you will tell them you feel great and are ready to start for the game. I think that`s why we see a lot of players playing sick this season even with the swine flu and because in football you don`t take yourself out of a game just because you may be injured or sick " the team needs you but ultimately it is up to the Head Coach to make the decision to let you play or not.

The swine flu has decreased somewhat in the number of reported cases up to December of this year. Mostly the younger crowd under sixty-five year olds are the ones that get the swine flu. The sixty-five and older crowd are the more seasonal flu victims.

With the Rams having to cancel practice due to the swine flu may be a possible trend of more swine flu cases to hit other NFL teams in the remainder of the season but I think for now most teams are being very cautious and taking good hygiene measures to eliminate the threat of lots of players getting sick with the swine flu.

The NFL is starting to get very exciting with the undefeated Colts and Saints which if both teams could go undefeated through the rest of the regular season would tie the 1972 Miami Dolphins undefeated regular season record but to be able tie the 1972 Dolphins complete undefeated record either the Saints or Colts would have to go undefeated through the entire season including the playoffs and then win the Super Bowl and we know that can`t happen. It would either be the Colts or the Saints that would tie the record not both teams. And other teams are starting to make a charge for the promised land of the playoffs, so as Santa Clause would say, Hang on for the ride ". I think we are going to see some very exciting moments shaping up for the NFL in the next couple of weeks. 

So, hopefully the swine flu will go away completely for not only the NFL players but everyone in general and keep everyone healthy for the rest of the season.  Even Santa Clause has received the swine flu vaccine, so I think come Christmas Eve there will be lots of happy good little boys and girls getting lots of presents and there will also be some NFL teams getting what they too wanted for Christmas, to score lots of points, win their remaining regular season games, and to make the playoffs but we will see what teams in the next few weeks have been naughty or nice and get their Christmas wish to come true.

 

                                                                        Reference:

Sando, Mike, ESPN Columnist, ESPN - NFL, Swine Flu Fears Cancels Rams Practice, (2009), 

      (sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story).