Texans TE Hill diagnosed with swine flu

Updated: October 2, 2009, 10:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans rookie tight end Anthony Hill was hospitalized this week with swine flu in what may be the first confirmed case in an NFL player this season.

Hill is the only player on the team believed to have swine flu and other players are being monitored, Texans vice president of communications Tony Wyllie said Friday.

"So we have one confirmed case of swine flu on our team and he's doing much better today," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We had a few guys feeling ill yesterday but they all came back today doing just fine. So, you know, we're ready to go."

Hill, a fourth-round pick from North Carolina State, spent two nights in the hospital. Kubiak said Hill could be released later Friday.

"He should be fine," Kubiak said.

Houston (1-2) hosts Oakland (1-2) on Sunday.

The Texans are believed to be the first team to confirm that one of its players has swine flu, also called the H1N1 virus. The NFL did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

"I think we're obviously doing everything we're told to do from that standpoint," Kubiak said. "We're taking every precaution we can. The good news is, anybody who didn't feel good yesterday came right back and felt good today in practice so we feel like it's very isolated and we're getting ready to go play a game."

In late August, Miami Dolphins defensive backs Sean Smith and Jason Allen were scratched from an exhibition game with flu-like symptoms, but the team declined to say whether the players were tested for swine flu. Smith and Allen declined comment.

The new swine flu seems no more deadly than regular winter flu, which every year kills 36,000 Americans and hospitalizes 200,000. This H1N1 strain sickens younger people more frequently than the over-65 population that is seasonal flu's main victim.

Flu-like symptoms have hit a number of college programs this season, including Wisconsin and No. 1 Florida, which last month held a number of players out of practice.

The Gators had a round of flu shots about a week after a school official predicted that as many as 40 percent of students could catch swine flu this season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.