Goodell offers swine flu exemptions

Updated: October 2, 2009, 6:09 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

To prepare a team in case its roster is hit by swine flu, commissioner Roger Goodell is going to offer emergency roster help.

Goodell, according to a source, notified teams Friday that if they have at least six proven cases of swine flu prior to a game, they will be allowed to bring at least six players off their practice squads to restore competitive balance. These would be done in the form of roster exemptions, the source said, and the team would be granted permission to add these players as late as four hours before kickoff.

The maximum number of exemptions allowed would be eight, the source said, but they would only be granted if the count of swine flu victims reach six.

On Friday, Texans tight end Anthony Hill was hospitalized with swine flu symptoms. He is the only player in the league who might miss this weekend's games because of swine flu.

The emergency plan is available immediately.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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