Warner ill, heads to hospital

The Rams practiced without MVP Kurt Warner Wednesday, when a bad bout of stomach flu sent the QB to the hospital for the day. Warner reported for team meetings, but became ill, according to a team release. A team trainer drove him to the hospital, where Warner received fluids on an outpatient basis, then went home to recover.<P> Coach Mike Martz said he expected Warner back on Thursday.<p>

Warner was sent home partly because Martz didn't want more teammates becoming infected with what he believed to be a one-day bug that has been affecting the Rams the last month. "It's probably as serious as stomach flu gets," Martz said after practice. "I'm more concerned about it spreading to the rest of the team. "It's better to keep him away from everybody else."

Nobody is worried that missing a day of practice will be a set back Warner.

"After playing 21 games since the preseason, it's not like he needs more reps," Martz said. "He's fine with this stuff."

Warner is also nursing bruised vocal cords after taking a shot to the throat in the regular-season finale Jan. 6 against the Falcons. He is under doctor's orders not to talk until Sunday's playoff game against the Packers. Warner was accompanied by his wife, Brenda, at the podium when he received the league's MVP award, and jotted his responses on a dry-erase board. For a scheduled interview Tuesday for the Rams' website, Warner had to e-mail his responses.

"The throat is feeling better every day," Warner said. "It is very difficult not to talk, even more so when we are playing someone and you have a lot of questions to ask.. Hopefully, only a few more days and this will all be over."

Backup quarterback Jamie Martin called the signals in practice on Tuesday as the Rams had 12 players in the offensive huddle. Martin stepped away when the team walked to the line of scrimmage.

On Wednesday, Martin got the majority of the snaps and showed good accuracy, with zip on the ball. Martz was impressed with the backup quarterback, who was only 3-for-3 for 22 yards in the regular season.

"You don't know until you get him out there, but he had a heck of a day out there," Martz said. "I thought he was outstanding; he's ready to play."

Martz said if Martin had to play against the Packers, it would not be a worry.

"I have no qualms or reservations about Jamie," Martz said. "If he had to go in and play today, he'd be in great shape. We'd be fine with him."

Offensive tackle Ryan Tucker and backup safety Richa Coady, also missed practice due to ankle sprains.


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