Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Twelve players sidelined as flu spreads through sad-sack Browns

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BEREA, Ohio -- Just when it couldn't get any worse for the woeful Cleveland Browns, it got worse.

The team has been sacked by the flu.

On Wednesday, 12 players, including Pro Bowl nose tackle Shaun Rogers and five other starters, missed practice with flu-like symptoms as the team began installing the game plan for Sunday's matchup against the Green Bay Packers.

Head coach Eric Mangini scaled back the workout in hopes of keeping his healthy players from getting sick. He's also emphasizing preventive measures to stop the virus from spreading deeper through the team. If players are showing any symptoms, the Browns are sending them home.

"We're being really aggressive preventatively," he said. "If there's any sign of it and we think it's heading that way, we'd much rather try to minimize the effects on the player and also possibly the exposure to the rest of the group."

Mangini implied the sick players had not yet been tested for the H1N1 virus. He said some of the cases were new, and he might not be able to reveal any test results because of medical privacy laws.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 22, 2009 C4

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