Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

September 5, 2:30 PM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Good morning everyone - Here it is, time for football. Yay!! Plenty of injury news before most teams take the field so let's get to it...


Will willis mcgahee be ready to go on week 1

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Hi Zach: I have been saying that I was not too concerned about McGahee's knee after the scope he had a few weeks ago, and I'm still not, not really...But now we're hearing that he is a GTD, depending on how his knee feels. I actually think he'll play, I think some of the hesitation may be a result of him not knowing the new offense and not having practiced with the team fully (still limited). So long-term, I'm not worried, but Sunday this week may be a concern.

Jason (Chicago)

Stephania, If I pull my hamstring, will u check me out and tell me how long I'll be out. I will do it right now.

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Trust me, it won't be worth it for you.

Nate (MN)

Any news on Tavaris Jackson

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Hi Nate: HYe plans to play but is still recovering from a sprained MCL, making him a little stiff with lateral movement. Since he's not a RB, it shouldn't bother him too much, but it may hamper him a bit if he has to escape a rush...

Crew (Ann Arbor)

Looking at the latest report Braylon Edwards looks like he is good to go correct? And also would you start Eddie Royal or DJ Hackett as a 3rd receiver?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Hi Crew: Yes, all reports indicate that the cut is healed pretty well and he is expected to play. I like Hackett as a surprise here. Yes, it's against San Diego, but he has great leaping ability and I think he will be the big play guy with Steve Smith out for suspension. Reports are that his toe is significantly better.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Ms. Bell: If you would be so kind, could you update us on the status of Jamal Lewis for Sunday? Thanks so much.

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

J.B. So polite! And for everyone else asking about Lewis - pay close attention to the reports that come out after Friday practice. The good news is that he was back on the field by Weds, the less good news is that he has continued to be limited in practice these two days. It sounds as if they expect him to play, but there has been no indication, other than how quickly he came back to practice , to indicate severity - and we always worry about these things getting worse. I would say I expect him to play - but will be watching closely to see what he does today - and I would not expect him to be 100% necessarily by Sunday.

Sean (Philly)

So I see you like DJ Hackett this week. Do you prefer him over another gimpy WR in Berrian this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Sean: Yes - Berrian reportedly still a bit hampered with his toe problem.

Ben (Omaha, NE)

Baseball question: What's the skinny on Carlos Quentin's injury? I haven't heard much. P.S. heard you on 'unsportsmanlike conduct' yesterday. I enjoyed it.

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Hi Ben: Thanks! Nice folks at the station in NE. Quentin has forearm soreness - that's allwe've been told. Apparently it's pretty sore b/c it has been affecting his ability to swing the bat, but it sounds as if they think he might be OK to play7 this weekend, he is getting checked out this morning so should know more this afternoon.

Canes r' Comin (Florida)

Is Chad Johnson worth starting with the shoulder injury he has over Rookie D. McFadden. He says he's 100% but he is also probably the first person in history to change his last name to a number.

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Love the optimism for the Canes! I think Johnson will be an interesting one this weekend. Here's the thing. Yes, he probably has some discomfort in his shoulder (he cannot be 100% b/c the labrum is torn and will stay that way until fixed). But since he's not a QB, it should not keep him from performing, it just may be more painful if he reaches a certain way, or lands on it awkwardly again. THere is a chance that it worsens. But Kellen Winslow played with a similar injury all of last year. He is very tough though. Johnson's effectiveness may be limited. Not sure how much McFadden touches the ball but he has great upside and I expect him to get in the end zone. I might pick him.

Brad (Lubbock)

Is Marvin Harrison ready to go this week, and do you think he can return to his pre-2007 level of effectiveness?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Hi Brad: Harrison is ready to go, looked good in camp and the pre-season, and I think he wants to prove to the naysayers that he is back. That being said, I'm not sure he's utilized a ton, especially early on, so it may take some time to see him emerge.

Justin (St Paul)

I just read that Gates will be limited and not start this week. How concerned should we be about him this season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Hi Justin: Yes, he himself said this so it's pretty reliable. All along we have been saying that his injury and recovery were serious and the early part of the season might be too soon for him. I think if he comes back at an appropriate pace that is comfortable for him (meaning limited use the first 2-3 weeks at least), then he has a decent chance of staying healthy, but if he pushes too hard, he risks a setback. Risky in my mind for fantasy owners.

Tom (Hackensack)

Jeremy Shockey...havent heard much about this, but i dont understand how there isnt more news considering he missed the entire preseason and is with a new team...thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Hi Tom: Shockey was expected to participate earlier in the preseason so it did come as a bit of a surprise. But overall I think he is feeling good and the Saints wanted to protect him, give him a little more time to get back to game speed and learn the offense. His injury sounds to be healing (ankle surgery) quite well - and I think he becomes a big threat - but may be eased back Week one and two.

Dan, Boston

Hi Stephania: Jason Grey's not too optimistic about the return of Big Z. Are you? I have second-round playoffs next week and am thinking of replacing him.

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Hi Dan: Well, there is definitely reason to be concerned. I mean the Cubs got good news in that there was no major tear reported in his cuff, etc. But, inflammation can take a while to settle down, and this is one tough guy. For him to be complaining of discomfort as he was tells you that it was bothering him pretty badly. I think a week's return is awfully optimistic and I think when the Cubs look big picture they will play it safe. Projection is hard given the day to day nature, but with the uncertainty, I would find a replacement.

Tobin (Denver)

Good morning, is Tom Brady a 100 percent going into this weekend. Does he really have a cracked bone in his foot or is false. If so do you think they are going to run maroney alot against KC?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Hi Tobin: Here's the odd thing. Brady, who was on the injury report every week for the last 4 years, is now not on it. But he wasn't on it for his ankle either before the Super Bowl and clearly it still bothered him. I doubt that his foot is 100%, but I do believe that it is well enough to allow him to be fairly effective or he wouldn't start. Now if someone steps on it, all bets are off

Dan (DC)

What's the deal with Reggie Brown?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Dan: Brown is still recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in camp and has sounded questionable about hiss tatus for this week (check injury reports after Friday practice). Keep in mind that he had an Achilles injury early in camp, and after only one day back, developed the hamstring. Durability may be a concern across the season.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

What's the story with Ronnie Brown's injury and his playing time going forward?

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Hi Sprung: Brown has recovered well from his ACL and looks quite good, but the stats support the 2 year to pre-injury form idea. Also, Williams has looked so good that it appears the Dolphins will have Williams handle more of the load and bring Brown back in more gradually (sounds like a 60-40 split may be in order). That ratio could change as the season progresses, but I expect it to at least start that way.

Tobin (Denver)

Sorry one more question. Are you guys still doing the fantasy show on espn news on sunday morning with mathew berry?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Hi Tobin: We do not have Fantasy Insider on news any longer. BUT, we do have the return of Fantasy Football Now -excellent pre-game information to give you last minute advice before setting lineups (12-1 EST on, opens as a window on the website). Thanks for asking...

Andy (Erie, PA)

Will Todd Heap ever be completely healthy?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Hi Andy: My concern exactly. He is a tough player and played through a lot of ankle problems in the past. But the hamstring injury got the better of him last year and he has had enough injury worries to make me concerned that he continues to be a risk. One thing though - these players who miss a number of games because of injury one year, often feel better the next year b/c they haven't been as punished by contact. So he's hoping for a bounce back year. I'm still a little skeptical though myself.

Prince (Pittsburgh)

Given McGahee's Issues should I consider starting his backup (Ray Rice) or possibly Duece McAllister?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Hi Prince: I would watch the pre-game updates. If McGahee is out, I pick Rice.

Terry (KY)

Any worries about the most famous bursa sac on planet earth (or the layoff it caused) slowing down Peyton Manning this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Terry: Nope - not a bit. More concerned about the absence of Jeff Saturday and how it affects the offensive timing.

Fernando (Pembroke Pines)

Hi Stephania, please a baseball question I'm in the playoffs with our Token "Baseball Guru" that came back to make the playoffs. My question is what is up with Abreu and his wrist? I cant afford to keep him im my line up and lose to the "GURU" ill never hear the end of it!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Fernando: All I've heard is soreness - no definitive info. Always worry that if it's bothering a guy, even if he plays it affects his hitting. If I had other options for the weekend I would take 'em.

Xavier (Seattle)

Any word on Harden? They say its extra rest, but any news is bad news with Harden.

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Xavier: I have not heard anything different. I think the CUbs knew when they got him that they had to protect him, and at the first sign of soreness they are going to rest him proactively. I'm always a bit concerned with Harden, but I think the Cubs are managing him proactively - not panicked yet.

Jeff (LA, CA)

Rudi Johnson update please Ms Bell?

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Hi Jeff: Johnson a concern after he had the hamstring bothering him throughout camp (and the other hamstring a problem last year). He says his goal all along has been to be healthy for Week One, which he claims to be, although he is still learning the offense. I have concerns for him holding up across the season.

Nick Fox (Greenwich, CT)

Stephania, Any concerns on Ryan Grant and Wes Welker this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Hi Nick: Grant is expected to be ready to go, 25-30 carries in the Monday night opener, but always a bit of a worry when the player recovering from a hamstring strain hasn't done much of anything in the preseason. Of course they're trying to keep him from getting worse so it makes some sense. Welker's ribs have recovered enough tog et him back into practice. Doubt he feels 100% but he's tough and I expect him to play.


Is Kinsler year over?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Gumby: Yes - sports hernia surgery. Out until next season.

Tyler (VT)

Hi Miss Bell, Any chance Bedard could come back and contribute for Fantasy owners?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Tyler: I think the chances are slim to none, with more weight towards the "none." Too many problems this year - and no reason in their situation to bring him back...

Frank (SF, CA)

What is your opinion of Branch for the rest of the season? Does his knee heal enough to be a good WR2 on the Seahawks?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Frank: I have to admit to being surprised at how quickly Branch is showing up - andit concerns me a little. I did not expect him to be contributing much until the latter half of the season, and if anything, I do expect that they'll limit his activity to risk re-injury early on.

Matt Foley "Motivational Speaker"

Hi Sthephania!....good as always! Can you give me an update on K. Youk. He has been killing my roster space lately.

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Matt: You might have to channel your motivational talents towards Youk's back. Back problems are notoriously chronic and difficult to project. Boston Herald is indicating that his status for Friday won't be known until he reports to the park today - so it remains a day-to-day issue. Not very helpful I know, but until he can string together some outings without a setback, his status is likely to be iffy.

Anthony (Ridgewood, NY)

Stephania - any take on why Longoria's wrist is taking so long to heal and why he can't swing a bat yet? The news on the injury seems to get more pessimistic as time goes by. Should we expect his power to be sapped even if/when he does make it into the lineup?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Hi Anthony: It's a good question - but I have to say it's not atypical of how these wrist problems can go. It sounds as if the healing is adequate as far as the bone goes, but he hasn't swung a real bat yet, which tells me that from a strength perspective, he can't quite grip it yet with the force he needs. Remember, he's immobilized while the bone heals, and the joint stiffens and the muscles weaken during that time. Post-immobilization getting range and strength back can be tough, and that is likely where the holdup is. Better to make sure he is really ready to get back then to force it.

Rick (Chicago)

Stephania, I'm worried about Joey Galloway's nagging groin in TB - should I be? Okay to start him Week 1?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Hi RIck: Galloway did have the groin bothering him all camp, but he says he's much better. He really put it at Gruden's discretion as to whether he lets him play but he feels he is ready to go. Put it this way, with his crazy stats against the Saints over the last few years, I'd be really surprised if he didn't go. With his football years, he is more at risk for these types of strains over time, but resting him throughout camp was probably a good thing.

Tony the Tiger...they're GRRRREAT!

Buzzer beater....Is Cueto going to be fine for his next outing? Will they shut him down early if he has a bad outing?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Hi TOny: Well, it sounds as if he's cleared the hurdles to even allow him to start Saturday. But yes, if he struggles, and most certainly if he has any symptomatic setbacks, I expect they shut him down as they were already discussing it as an option.

Frank (TN)

Stephania, do you think Derek Anderson is ready to go on Sunday, or will there be lingering effects from the concussion? How serious was the concussion he suffered?

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Hi Frank: I think if the effects were lingering he would not have been progressed back as he has been in practice.. The Browns have been very clear that they were treating this seriously and not moving him too fast. Concussions can always be better graded in retrospect - how long does it take a player to return. It was reported as mild initially - and that seems to be how it is playing out. Since he was named the starter I expect him to be fine.

Matt (MIlwaukee)

Will Delhomme be limited at all this year due to his TJ surgery?

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Matt: Delhomme looks great - and should not be limited -he is fully healed. THe big thing for him is getting back into the groove of playing after mkissing so much time. He is stronger, he bleieves he os throwing better and he thinks all the time he spent as a backup helps him mentally in terms of playing again after not playing for a long time. I like him this year.

Adam, STL

L Coles, good to go?

Stephania Bell
  (12:05 PM)

Adam: He practiced fully on Thursday so I expect so.

Stephania Bell
  (12:07 PM)

OK everyone - it is time for me to go. If you want late afternoon fantasy questions answered, Erik Kuselias, host of Fantasy Football Now will answer your questions from 3-4 pm EST. Also, come back SUnday morning as our team will chat leading you up to gametime. I will be talking injuries from 10-11 EST. See you then - have a healthy weekend - and welcome back football season...