But the reality is that he may well do, as England monitor the shoulder injury which forced Charlie Hodgson to leave the field early in Saturday's 13-6 Calcutta Cup victory over Scotland.
Hodgson had scored the decisive try on his first Test start in four years as England launched their "new era" and their Six Nations campaign with a tenacious win.
The England medics will keep tabs on Hodgson while Flood returns to the squad after making his comeback from a knee ligament injury with a 30-minute appearance for Leicester at the weekend.
Flood will have until Tuesday evening, when England's 32-man squad is trimmed down ahead of the team selection, to convince interim head coach Lancaster of his match fitness.
"I want to make sure people have to work hard to get into the team," Lancaster said.
"I think there has to be real competition for the shirt and you have to prize it when you get it - and not let go of it."
England will definitely be without Lee Dickson in Rome after the debutant scrum-half broke a bone in his left hand against Scotland.
Lancaster's scrum-half options are running short with Richard Wigglesworth injured and Danny Care serving a suspension following his arrest for drink driving.
Dickson has been replaced in the England squad by his elder brother Karl, Care's understudy at Harlequins who on Sunday made his first club start since mid-November.
Manu Tuilagi, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood will also be unavailable to England for their trip to Rome's Olympic Stadium but Brad Barritt is expected to be fit after suffering a dead leg.
Barritt, one of seven red rose debutants at Murrayfield, had to be dragged off the field after a key contribution to England's victory.
Although South African by birth, Barritt's maternal grandparents were born in England, he has close family here and the Saracens centre bought wholeheartedly into Lancaster's philosophy of pride in the badge.
"When you're representing your country and having the feeling of everyone behind you, it's a really emotional and life-changing experience," Barritt said.
"You could see in guys' eyes that they were hungry and wanted to put their bodies on the line. When you get to that position in a team it's a strong place to be. So each guy was willing to die for the cause tonight."
Barritt revealed how the motivational speeches given to the squad by former England footballer Gary Neville, England rugby league captain Jamie Peacock and army veteran Corporal Simon Brown had inspired the team.
"Gary said his best experience was playing in the England team with the nation behind them. We know we haven't achieved that yet but if it's got us some way in getting English rugby back behind the team it's brilliant," Barritt said.
"The win was huge. For any new team if you get a win under your belt it does masses for confidence and morale."
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