It's been replaced atop the news cycle by more important things like Tiger Woods and the women Tiger Woods has slept with, but swine flu is still circulating through the United States. The St. Louis Rams can attest.
The team canceled Thursday practice because an undisclosed number of players have been stricken with the H1N1 virus. St. Louis is scheduled to play at home against Houston on Sunday afternoon.
Though coach Steve Spagnuolo said the cancellation is merely a precaution, doing such a thing indicates that there's some genuine concern on the part of the Rams' medical staff. Most NFL coaches, particularly ones who are 1-12 in their careers, would rather cut off a finger than cancel the most important practice day of the week, so the doctors must have made a compelling argument to Spagnuolo.
Quarterback Kyle Boller(notes) and center Jason Brown(notes) missed practice on Wednesday because of flu-like symptoms, which may mean the CDC will have to amend its precautionary guidelines to include snap exchanges.
The Rams have one win on the season (Nov. 1 at Detroit) and have been outscored by an NFL-high 215 points, so it's not like losing some players to the flu is going to be all that bad in terms of football. Heck, it might even help. The task of trying to tackle Steven Jackson is unenviable enough as it is. Throw in the threat of a communicable disease and Texans linebackers might not even bother.