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October 7, 5:56 AM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Good morning Sports Nation: Ready to take your injury questions - and I see there is already a line, so here we go...

Anne (San Francisco)

Any news on Shockey?? Will he play this week?? Go Niners!

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Hi Anne - fellow SF gal: It would be early as these thigs go, but all along the Saints have been saying that they expected Shockey back early. He has been doing some side running, which already tells me he is somewhat ahead of a normal post-sports hernia schedule. It really depends what happens this week - if he shows he can practice and go all out. I would not bank on it. Their backup tight end performed well last night.

Kai (Karlsruhe, Germany)

Hey Starphania. How's Tony Scheffler looking? Should I be concerned about him and look for another TE to back him up?

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Hi Kai: Bringing some international flavor to our chat thoday... Scheffler injured his groin and was on crutches after the game. Any more than a mild strain is usually more than a week to heal. No official word out of Denver but watch the practice reports. If he is held out Weds, Thurs, I would say do not expect him. Get yourself a backup just in case.

Brett (Texas)

I know Bryan Westbrook is a tough guy and all but first the ankle and now the ribs. What's the time table of his possible return this time?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Brett: He is a tough guy, but not unbreakable as we see now, with the two fractured ribs. Last time Westbrook fractured ribs ('04) he missed a game. Does that mean he will for sure this time? No, but it is fairly typical for a player to miss one game after a more serious rib injury. You know the story with Westbrook - it will come down to how he feels Friday, and then maybe how he feels Sunday. One thing you can count on with him is that he doesn't play if he thinks he won't be able to contribute. Expect to play Buckhalter if you've got him, but know that he could possibly play this week.

Marcie (Pittsburgh PA)

Who long is boldin suppose to be out? I am thinking of picking up breaston against dallas? Is that a good idea another option i was thinking of is Berrian they play detroit. Which one or would you make both moves, moore was a dud.

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Marcie: Cardinals aren't saying for sure but I'd be REALLY surprised if he comes back this week. First, he had a minor surgery to address the sinus fracture, second, they have a bye week in Week 7, so why not bring him back sensibly in Week 8? But I like Breaston - performed well in Boldin's absence. Berrian was a surprise with how limited he was Friday - he has a toe and a knee that are sore (although you might not know it after last night) -if Berrian's available, I think Frerotte has shown he'll go to him, but watch the post-game reports, make sure he's not hurting after his big game.


Hi Ms. Bell!! What do you expect out of Fargas this week? Will I be glad I held on to him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Chris: Hard to speculate b/c we don't get much in the way of reports when the team is on a bye. I will say though that before the bye Kiffin speculated that Fargas would return in Week 6. Now things are a little crazy in Oakland so who even knows how the game plan shapes up. I would definitely keep him though, even if this is not the week he returns.

Dave (Tampa)

Hi Stephania, Westbrook follow up question. With Philly having their bye next week, do you think they might be more inclined to shut Westbrook down for a bit to heal up?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Hi Dave: Great question - and for some injuries I would say yes. But Philly is so much better offensively when he's in the game. And they're angry about a couple of losses they think they should ahve had. They also have a history of letting Westbrook make the decision based on how he feels. So I don't necessarily think they shut him down, I think they let him make the call.

Brad in LA

What can we expect from Matt Hasselbeck's knee? I'm thinking of cutting bait on him.

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Brad: Hasselgbeck is banged up but apparently nothing specific. He had x-rays on the knee which were negative. He hyperextended it so it was no doubt sore, and his back was certainly bothering him earlier in the year, but they just seem like they can't get their offense going, not just b/c of his knee.

Josh (Indiana)

How concerned should I be as an LT owner? I keep hearing about him losing his explosiveness, is that because of the toe or is there more there?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Josh: Good question. I don't think all the criticism of him is entirely fair. He hurt the toe Week 1. This is a tough injury to recover from and we're seeing that. He was steadily making some improvement across Week 3 and 4 but still had trouble with spinning and cutting. There is no denying that a bum big toe will limit explosiveness. Now it has been setback after being stepped on and twisted. I don't buy that he has "lost it" - he has not had a week of playing without injury. All that being said, as an LT owner (and I'm one too), you need to replace him in your lineup. THis setback, I expect, will set back his timeline to normal LT performance and I'm hoping he can get there by after their late bye week.

Steiny (NYC)

How long will Trent Edwards be out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Steiny: No way to rpedict. Concussions are one of the toughest b/c the way we determine how sever they are is after the fact, as in how long did it take a player to recover. He reportedly was still experiencing post-concussion symptoms Monday, and he can't even begin any physical activity until those symptoms clear, so I would say this week is not looking good.

Rob in Athens Georgia

Times are going to be hard for me in Week 7 and I will need to pick up either Justin Gage, playing KC, or Brandon Lloyd, playing Minnesota. Do you have any idea if they both should be back or if either injury is serious? Hate to say it to a San Fran girl, but go Pats!

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Rob: Wow - surprised myself at posting your question since you were cheering your Pats against my Niners -but admit it, the Niners made you nervous for at least a few minutes. Maybe. Anyway, two receivers folks are interested in who sat out alst week. The Tennessean reporting that Gage should play this week. Of course watch the practice reports, but I like his matchup. Lloyd - no word yet - but a source of mine in Chicago said they were hearing it could be a 3-4 week injury.

Kevin (New York)

Will Deion Branch miss any time?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Kevin: Yes, he's out indefinitely with a bruised heel - on the other leg - while still recovering from the ACL. Bummer.


Hello Steph! Are you confident enough in Brian to acquire him in a trade?The Westbrook owner in our league put him on the trade block...

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Jeff: If he's selling low, I like him. May not play this week, but over the long haul you get one productive back. I'd get him.

Brian (Indiana)

Hey Steph!.. hope all is well. Can you give us a Colston Update. Stashed him on my bench since week 2 and anticipating a big return. Thanks Lovely

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Brian: Keep him stashed there. It is hard to give you much b/c they have been quiet in New Orleans about his status. He should be out of the cast this week (but we have not heard officially), but then it will take him a bit to be able to have the range and strength to grip the ball. It's more than just a finger. The thumb is really critical to being able to catch the ball and draw it in - and to keep from fumbling it. So - I would expect two weeks at least, but again, no info from team yet. I promise - as soon as I have it, I'll put it out there.

Alex (Michigan)

Stephania you are my hero!! RunDMC was in a boot yesterday STILL, what is it looking like for him this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Alex: Wow - hero status? That's a lot of pressure. Well, you never like to see a guy still in a boot AFTER a bye. That being said, if they want to maximally protect his toe, they can keep him in a boot except for during the time he works out. He did not practice Monday though while Fargas did, so I would take my early cues from that, as in even if he plays, Fargas may get the bulk of the work. Obviosuly we'll know a bit more by Friday.

Ken (syracuse)

Good morning Steph. What kind of news do you have on Willie Parker? Will he be back after the bye week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Ken: He felt like he was ready to play but was held out for precautionary purposes. Not a bad idea. The Stellers (especially Big Ben) need the bye. He should be expected to start, no doubt chomping at the bit when they come back in Week 7.


Trent Edwards and Justin Gage are on byes this week. You referenced the possiblility yof them playing this week.

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Thanks for the correction. Yes, I meant to say next week. In fact, coach Dick Jauron was pointing out that the bye couldn't have come at a better time. Glad there are smart people out there in Sports Nation helping make sure we get it right. Thanks.

Cody (Seattle)

9ers fan stuck in hawk territory!! man these fans are obnoxious!!! I'm still hanging onto Kevin Curtis...tell me he'll be back after the bye, my WR corps needs the help.

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Cody: I feel for you. But honestly, they can't be gloating too much in Seattle, can they? Anyway, Kevin Curtis needed a couple extra weeks to get into game shape. There's a chance he's activated for the next game, but even so, I would expect a very small contribution only. Best bet is after the bye, and I expect he'll be really ready to go by then.


How will this bye week affect Big Ben's shoulder? Is it enough time to produce significant healing or is this the kind of injury that would take a month to heal? I read somewhere that he would be close to 100%-true?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Shelly: You're asking a really good question. This is one of those things where it would really help if I could see him myself b/c it's hard to prognosticate from a distance. But I will say this. Normally, it would be about a month for it to heal. But as I've been saying for a while, the more he gets hit, forced to the ground, it's like minor re-injury each time, and it just doesn't allow it to heal. A bye week will definitely help - no hitting, no throwing. But will he be 100%? Not sure I'd go that far - but I'm sure he'll be much improved, and therefore the contact he'll take at that point won't be as bad as it is right now.


PLEASE HELP. Any news on Chris Chambers? Will he play this week? Thanks a million.

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Mike: All we've heard is that he rolled his ankle on the last play of the game, nothing further. Unfortunately that means we won't know until we see him in practice - or not.

Drew (Tampa Ray!!)

Why is Torain such a hot pickup right now?? Why all the hype?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Drew: Ask all the poeple who are asking about him! This kid was amazing during the preseason. Moved from No. 4 on the depth chart to challenging for No. 1 before the injury. Shanahan was positively glowing about him. That's why. His injury was a 3 month one, meaning he could resurface soon. Reports are that he will hopefully be cleared to return to practice soon and may play in game 11/2. If he's available people, go get him.

Pete (ny)

Starphania, short and sweet. Galloway??? Discuss please? Thank you

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Pete: Short answer too. We know nothing. Just that he hasn't been able to practice. Foot injuries can linger - we have been givne nothing as to specifics, but the lack of activity is definitely a concern.

Mark (San Diego)

Hi Starphania, what are the chances that Eddie Royal sits this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Mark: Definitely some concern here. He appeared to have a minor ankle injury which was allowing him to practice and play but then aggravated it this week and was on crutches after the game. X-rays negative but he's scheduled for an MRI - so we won't know more until they get those results. Not sounding great early though.

Dave (Detroit)

Carson Palmer played and put up decent numbers despite his elbow. The injury is still a concern though, correct?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Dave: Yes, b/c it's not gone. I actually thought he looked way off the mark early. But he did seem to get better as the game went on. The big thing to watch this week is whether he was so sore after the game (which we haven't heard) that he is limited this week, or if he continues an upward trend. Definitely the kind of thing that could falre on him if he gets hit or overuses it so it will be a week to week issue for a while.

Dan (New York)

Dearest Stephania, With McGahee at almost full strength, do you still think McClain will get his share of work?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Dan: I still think they like the system of sharing in Baltimore too much to change it, and they are likely to play the hot hand. McClain is really good and I still see a split, healthy McGahee or not.

Brandon (Detroit)

PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION BEFORE YOU LEAVE!!!! I need to know who is going to QB the most important team in all of football, the Lions!!! How's Kitna's back? And will it be Orlavsky or Stanton if Kitna can't go?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Brandon: No need to yell, I hear you in the chat room. The Lions say they will evaluate Kitna across the week. He has had back spasms before so I think this is one of those minor recurring things, but, the problem with back problems is that they're so unpredictable. Orlovsky suffered a high ankle sprain and his knee is gimpy, so it would more likely be Stanton if Kitna can't go.

Albert in maine

Chat winding down......question still needs answering.....getting scared and nervous....will I be picked?? Crossing my fingers.........What do you think of MJD? His minor injuries seem to be piling up and he is a little guy to begin with...would you be worried?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Albert: Funny - I like it. I think MJD's ankle is starting to concern me. He has been able to sort of press on and play through it, but it's worse - and I think it's going to catch up with him. It's the lingering nature of this, combined with him being a RB, that worries me as far as his production.

Ted (Londonderry,NH)

Stephania, quick and to the point. I loved your run down on Rodgers' shoulder and while you were very clear his injury cannot get worse, I am curious as to pain. Typically, how long would a QB be experiencing pain as a result of this injury and when will it heal?? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Ted: Thanks for that. The good news is that although he was in pain with the injury during the game, McCarthy says he actually was feeling better Monday. It's tough because they havne't been specific as to which ligaments were sprained. The fact that we heard discussion about him possibly wearing a harness suggests that there is someconcern about instability, even if it's mild. Hard to recover fully while still playing - it becomes more a situation of "managing" the injury. May not fully resolve until the season is over - but that doesn't mean he won't continue to feel better. Also depends how much contact he's forced to absorb.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Thanks everyone for coming. I have to run - but I'll be back Friday when we can look at what everyone did in practice this week. Have a great week!