Browns coach Eric Mangini spent the first portion of his Wednesday press conference not talking football, but instead giving an update on the health status for a team that has been hit hard by the flu.
The virus began to touch the team over the weekend when linebacker Kamerion Wimbley was sent home from Pittsburgh before Sunday's game even started and veteran defensive end Shaun Rogers struggled to play through the game while feeling under the weather.
By Wednesday, Mangini ticked off a list of 10 more players who have come down with the virus: running back Jerome Harrison, center Alex Mack, defensive back Brodney Pool, defensive back Anthony Madison, wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, linebacker Jason Trusnik, tight end Robert Royal, defensive lineman Corey Williams, fullback Lawrence Vickers and defensive end Brian Schaefering.
Of the 12 players affected, seven are starters. In response to his rapidly declining troops, Mangini had to limit Wednesday's practice.
While a majority of the remaining players said they were taking extra precautions by washing their hands more often, offensive lineman Joe Thomas said getting the flu just might be inevitable.
"I'm not too worried," he said. "If it's going to happen, you're going to get sick. We're doing everything we can to avoid it. I think it's inevitable, people are going to be exposed to it all over the country.