NFL NOTEBOOK: Swine flu ends Rams' practice
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The St. Louis Rams canceled practice yesterday due to an undisclosed number of swine flu cases on the team, just three days before a home game against the Houston Texans.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo would not say how many players had the illness but said five or six players had flu-like symptoms, and added that other players had reported symptoms the past few weeks. He anticipated the Rams would return to practice today with a workout that will incorporate some of the elements missed on yesterday.
"It's really more of a precaution than anything," Spagnuolo said. "We're checking everybody, we're just being careful."
Two players, quarterback Kyle Boller and center Jason Brown, missed practice Wednesday and Spagnuolo said both players had flu-like symptoms.
Center Shaun O'Hara was fined $15,000 by the NFL for a scuffle with Eagles defensive end Trent Cole at the end of the game Sunday against Philadelphia. O'Hara, who plans to appeal, appeared to stiff-arm Cole in the facemask in the closing seconds of the Eagles' 45-38 win. Cole retaliated by throwing a couple of punches. O'Hara said Cole was also fined $15,000.
Washington began a monumental shake-up of their organization, first announcing the resignation of executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato and within hours replacing him with veteran NFL personnel executive Bruce Allen, who immediately will begin serving as the team's general manager -- the man in charge of assembling the roster and the coaching staff.
Linebacker DeMarcus Ware was back at practice, though the team was unclear about his status for a game Saturday night at New Orleans that will be less than a week after his neck was strained in a scary headfirst collision.
Atlanta announced that former running back Warrick Dunn, who retired after the 2008 season, has an agreement to become the team's seventh limited partner. The purchase was unanimously approved by NFL owners and is expected to be completed by March 1.
A judge handed down a life sentence for the man convicted of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Richard Collier. The state attorney's office a judge sentenced Tyrone Hartsfield, 33, yesterday. He was convicted a month ago.
• The Giants and Jets want to bring the Super Bowl to their new 82,500-seat stadium in New Jersey in four years in what most certainly would be a chilly NFL title game. The $1.6 billion stadium set to open next year does not have a retractable roof or a dome. After receiving approval from a league committee to bid, the Giants and Jets announced that they will submit a preliminary proposal for the game by April 1.
First Published December 18, 2009 12:00 am