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November 25, 8:25 AM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Happy Tuesday Sports Nation! Wow - short week with 3 games on Thanksgiving and the all-important fantasy playoffs happening. Let's get to your questions...

Steve (Walnut Creek, CA)

Happy Thanksgiving Stephania! My RB situation has become a mess thanks to injuries and mid-season slumps. With the playoffs on the line, do I stick with Westbrook this week or look at some other unattractive options?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Steve: Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I don't know - Westbrook is definitely ailing - and the Eagles are going to try to continue to use him however they can, but I'm not that confident b/c he will be playing hurt for the rest of the year in all likelohood. Now that Buckhalter is out for Thursday with an MCL sprain they will activate Lorenzo Booker, but I actually expect them to try to go to their passing game more. If there are better options available, I'd look for them.

Kerry (Boston)

Hey Stephania, is Witten okay to play this week, or do you think he's still recovering? Should I pick up someone like Keller or Shockey to replace him until he's 100%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Kerry: I expect Witten to play, but he's not in top form either. The ribs are still bothering him and apparently he left at one point Sunday to get X-rays on his jaw. He hasn't been that productive of late. If keller or shockey is available, I would secure one of them and then look at practice up until Thursday. Witten did practice yesterday which is a good sign. Still with only 3 days since his last game and only a mediocre outing, I would consider starting one of those two in his place this week.

jon (MI)

Hi Stephania! Colston's knee has to bothering him, right? How can he only see one target last night?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Jon: I think the knee was a factor in that he hasn't been able to practice fully and it may affect Brees looking for him. He did get the one target with a score, but next week it's Tampa. Not sure he's going to have a big game this week. The hope is that his knee will improve with another week.

Brandon (Dallas)

Good morning Stephania! I have SJax on IR right now. Does it look like he'll be playing this week? If so, Would he be a starter over Tim Hightower or Steve Smith (Car)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Brandon: I would not be prepared to take a risk on SJax at this point. So he ran Saturday and Monday, which is good. But that's something we've seen before and then he hasn't been able to play. Haslett as much as said the same thing. It may well come down to gametime again - and unless I was playing him at flex (and even then I'm not so sure) I would want to wait and see what he did before I trusted a playoff spot on my roster to him. We have already seen how easily he has been set back by this thing. No confidence until I see that he can run full speed, make cuts IN THE GAME, and last.


Happy Turkey Day!! What's up with our Niners? How long do we have to wait for a winning season? Anyway, should i have anything to worry about with Portis and his 'strained ribcage muscle' against the NYG this weekend? That guy is an animal, I think he would still play if his legs were amputated!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Brian: Well, they can't win 'em all - but for a while, they gave the Cowboys a game... Portis has shown his toughness. I don't think this is going to keep him out. I think he's sore, and he'll probably have another week of very limited practice, but he's shown that he can play well even with limited touches during the week, so if anything, Zorn should have more confidence in playing him.

Matt (TX)

Follup on SJax ... I just secured a playoff bye so I don't need SJax until week 15 ... in your opinion do you think he'll be good to go by then?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Matt: Good follow-up, wish I could give you a definitive answer. Even if I was the PT working directly with SJax, I probably would not have any better of an idea. This is very mkuch a daily trial and error, push the leg a little further and see how it responds. Assuming all goes well, and that's a big assumption, not needing him until then at least gives you a little more latitude. Think it's worth keeping him on your bench.

Dave (VA)

Do you have any word on FWP?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Dave: Not yet. The Pittsburgh media saying that when Tomlin meets with the media today we should get an update, but we've got nothing so far. All we know is that he tweaked his knee last week, the one good thing is that he's had a few extra days to rest it.

Hutch (Houston)

Good morning to you Stephania. Update on Selvin Young please. Do you think he will be back for week 14? Also, I didn't see Cadillac play this weekend. How did he look? Did the knee hold up well? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Hutch: Young is actually supposed to return for Week 13. But I wouldn't invest heavily in him. Likely to see limited action after all his time away. And we know that Denver is not afraid to use a group of running backs. Cadillac looked rusty, as you would expect. But the more improtant thing is he was able to see some playing time and get some confidence in the knee, the value of which cannot be underestimated from a rehab perspective. He should continue to see more work as the season finishes out.

Tim (Latrobe, PA)

Jacobs update, please....even though they're probably lying to us again. Thx.

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Tim: Very interesting situation with Jacobs. I was quite surprised given the Probable tag and the fact that Jacobs fully practiced in the latter part of the week, claimed he had no pain and was ready to go. Apparently when he got to the stadium he told the team that he didn't think he could perform up to the level of the team's expectations. Hmm. Arizona filed a complaint with the league - but it probably won't go anywhere. Anyway, my impression is that his knee was healthy and I think he will play this week, but they may choose to spread the carries around b/c no matter what they say, I think this last week shows they're nervous about him doing anything to hurt himself before the playoffs.

Rocco (Phoenix)

What's the latest issue with the Plax drama??

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Hi Rocco: Contonuing in NY, Plaxico playing was equally a surprise to me given that he couldn't practice Friday. Apaprently he aggravated the hamstring on the first series and was scheduled to have more tests yesterday (no results known yet). Need to see what those produce and what he does in practice, but it wouldn't surprise me if he's absent this week again.

John (CA)

Stephania, what is really going on with Reggie Bush, everyone said he was supposed to play this week, but did not. Can we assume that he will not play next week also? THX

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

John: I thought he would play this week too, until Saturday that is. The timeline was a good fit and he had been progressing accordingly. But, as is often the case, when a player gets close to game play, they start adding things. Sometimes those things will be enough to produce a little soreness, show thenm they're not quite ready to go. The Saints are thinking long-term and do not want him to play just to meet an artificial timeline. He did not do mcuh Saturday and could not do anything Sunday so it became clear he needed more time, hopefully just one more week.

The Naked Man, Boston

For 2 of my 5 FF leagues. What is up with Camarillo and Mark Bradley? Thanks..........

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Naked? Really? Put some clothes on...Camarillo is done for the season. Bradley aggravated the calf late in the game this week so it remains to be seen what his status will be this week.

Ivan (DC)

Is Winslow's health really affecting his play that much or are the Browns just not moving on offense? Keller a better option going forward??

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Ivan: It's a bigger issue with the Browns' offense, not WInslow's health.

Ryan (Celebration, FL)

Good morning Stephania...I am playing golf tomorrow, so if you could answer this today pretty please. :) Run DMC(he looked healthy), Hillis (will Young cut into his carries and do you expect Young to play) or Reggie Bush (when do we expect him to return???). Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Hi Ryan: Just the fact that you're somewhere where you can play golf makes me very jealous... Anyway, addressed Young and Bush already, but yes, DMC looked healthy and this is consistent with what folks in Oakland ahve been saying, that he's finally feeling better than he ahs in weeks. As a result, I expec t them to continue to work him in more.

Chris (New York, NY)

Good morning Starphania. Any news on Kevin Smith?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Hi Chris: Not really. All we know is that it was his shoulder that he injured during the game. Now he had a minor shoulder injury earlier in the season. No word as to whether this is the same thing or something new. With a short week, it's a concern, but we won't probably know anything more until after practice today.

Bradley Ocho Cinco (no relation to Chad)

Hi Stephania! One more try... Any word on Kevin Smith's injury? Is Warrick Dunn a safer play? Is Cadillac back into driving form and ready to steal some carries? Thank you so much!

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Warrick Dunn is a safer play than Smith if you're picking today. Williams will not likely be a fantasy factor for a while.

Jeff (Seattle, WA)

Roddy White had a good 1st half and then didn't get another catch. Was his back a factor? What's his prognosis going forwards?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Jeff: I think he just got shut down in the second half. No word otherwise. I think we'll have to see what he does in practice this week, but it doesn't appear that his back has been limiting his game performance thus far.

Joe (St. Louis)

Is Houston going to bring back Schaub for the last two games or put him on IR?

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Joe: They haven't played that hand yet. They may be waiting to see whether they end up needing that spot combined with how he progresses over the next week or two.

chris (surprise, az)

ru serious? play warrick dunn?? is he still alive on the football field

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Are you kidding me? He had 18 fantasy points this week, and is the lock for starter going forward.

Riaz, OH

Stephania, I am actually going to request a injury question on a kicker. Is Jason Elam's hip a concern? I dropped Matt Prater and am desparate for a good kicker but want to make sure that Elam is ok. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Riaz: Elam is still limited in practice by the hip, and he's not 100%. but he's still kicking decently, and I expect him to keep playing, barring a setback.

The Naked Man (Charleston, SC)

Is Slaton good to go for this week? Looks like Green is injured, but should I be concerned with the chest issue for Slaton?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Don't know that Slaton is 100% - he's a bit beat up from all the work, but Green out only boosts the work they need from him. There's Ryan Moats too, but he's also banged up.

Nut Tree RIP (Vacaville, CA)

How do you think Hasselbeck will hold up for the rest of the season? I have a John Grudenesque love for multiple QBs and need to trim the roster before Fantasy Playoffs. Who gets the axe? Hasselbeck, Garcia, Thigpen or Garrard?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Love the Nut Tree reference - amde many a stop there as a kid... I would axe Garrard. I think Hasselbeck is then the weakest of the 3, but I think he gets stronger as the season finishes out so he may be a great play down the line.

Dave (VA)

Will Brady Quinn be good to go this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Dave: Well, Crennel had indicated he would be the starter. But the problem has taken a new turn. Quinn is visiting with Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion b/c apparently he tore a tendon at the tip of his index finger along with the fracture. That could actually be more of a factor in how he is able to throw the ball, so it will be interesting to see what the recommendation is. Not such a sure thing at this point.

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Dave: Well, Crennel had indicated he would be the starter. But the problem has taken a new turn. Quinn is visiting with Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion b/c apparently he tore a tendon at the tip of his index finger along with the fracture. That could actually be more of a factor in how he is able to throw the ball, so it will be interesting to see what the recommendation is. Not such a sure thing at this point.

Matt (DC)

What is the latest with Bulger and his concussion?

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Matt: He will have to undergo some neuropsych tests (where they compare brain function after the concussion to results of similar tests taken before the start of the season) and will have to pass those before he is cleared to play. That will likely happen alter this week.

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Sorry gang: Technical difficulty and I lost the chat for a moment. Back now.

Michael (Houston)

is there reason to believe that Earnest Graham is done for 2008?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Michael: Yes, he is.

Skip (Pawtucket, RI)

Julius Jones. Discuss.

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Skip: Jones hasn't been effective much of the year. Morris started over him this week for just that reason. Add to that the fact that Jones hurt his calf. His status is in question for Thursday. Avoid.

michael- (TA israel)-Playing my boss....Help!

Will Lwhite play Thursday? Happy Thanksgiving

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Michael: Unless the team punishes him for his comments, which I have not heard anything about, I would expect him to play, and probably play a bit more.

Jason (Omaha)

you can't leave without addressing the Portis issue. PLEASE!

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Jason: I did -s croll to beginning of chat for more detail.


Yahoo has him projected at 20 Points? Is this even possible?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Anything is possible - just not likely.

Matt (TX)

Hi Stephania! Didnt get a chance to watch the bears game, how did Orton look with his bum ankle? I have concerns starting him against the vikings.

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Matt: He's not playing well. I really think he came back a week too early and this is hampering him. Ultimately I think he is playing worse at this point than he would have if he'd been out longer. But he will continue to play - and I'd be concerned about him against the Vikings too.

Joel (MI)

Stephania, What the heck is up with Scheffler ?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Joel: Well, he's actually doing better from the groin injury, although not quite 100%. But Cutler looked awful and the Denver offense was all around poor, so give it another week and he should be getting more of his targets.

Jenna Jameson (Charlotte)

Is Fred Taylor hurt?

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Jenna: He's been banged up a bit, had a minor neck injury. But his last performance I don't think was attributable to injury.

Jayson (Orlando, FL)

Hi Stephania - You mentioned above that we would know more about Kevin Smith's shoulder injury after today's practice. As a PT, how intensive are the ever-so-rare Tuesday practices?

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Jayson: Not usually intense, but with the games being Thanksgiving, this weeks is different. So we should at least ehar more on player's status from the coaches after today.

Stephania Bell
  (12:05 PM)

OK everyone - time for me to go. Thanks so much for coming. I wish you all a Happy THanksgiving - good luck with your fantasy games this week! There is no Friday chat b/c of the holiday, but I will be talking injuries at 10 am Sunday before kickoff. Talk to you then!