- The Washington Times - Friday, December 18, 2009

The St. Louis Rams canceled practice Thursday because of 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 flulike symptoms and added that other players had reported symptoms the last few weeks. He anticipated the Rams would return to practice Friday with a workout that will incorporate some of the elements missed Thursday.

“It’s really more of a precaution than anything,” Spagnuolo said. “We’re checking everybody. We’re just being careful.”

Players were seen driving away from Rams Park shortly before noon after consulting with medical staff. Team spokesman Ted Crews said many players received medication before leaving.

“If there was one [player], we’d have to be careful because these guys are around each other all the time,” Spagnuolo said. “I think it was the right thing to do.”

GIANTS: Offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie and cornerback Corey Webster missed practice with knee injuries.

Coach Tom Coughlin said he is not sure whether either will be able to play Monday night at Washington, but Webster has a better chance.

Both players hurt their left knees in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia.

COWBOYS: Linebacker DeMarcus Ware was back at practice, though the team was unclear about his status for Saturday night’s game at New Orleans that will be less than a week after he strained his neck in a scary headfirst collision.

On the practice report, Ware was listed as not participating even though he was involved in some parts of the 90-minute session without pads that resembled a walkthrough.

The team also did not indicate his status for the Saints game, because the NFL doesn’t require that until Friday.

VIKINGS: Wide receiver Percy Harvin missed another practice while struggling with migraine headaches.

Harvin was absent again as Minnesota prepared to play Carolina in a Sunday night game. The rookie also sat out last week against Cincinnati.

With toughness as a runner and pass catcher and straight-ahead speed as a kickoff returner, Harvin has given the Vikings a big lift since he was drafted in the first round this year.

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