Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 2, 10:43 AM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

nate ohio

are portis owners in deep doodoo?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Nate: Thanks for putting it in terms we all can relate to. I have been amazed at Portis' ability to play through some intense injuries, but did you see the shot in the neck he took from a defender's forearm? Looked like a big whiplash injury. Anyway - that one hurt. And there is no doubt that the cumulative effect of injuries has to be taking its toll. But I think the approach will be similar to past weeks. He won't practice, he'll get lots of treatment, and it will be a gtd. As of now, based on his past performance, I;d say he plays. But it's not a great matchup, and he won't be in top shape.

Mike(SF)

Will Barber be able to play through this toe injury? Will he be able to play well? Thank you.

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Ah, Mike: Two very different questions. Yes, I think he'll be able to play. The fact that the toe wasn't broken helps him. If the swelling, inflammation go down enough they can tape it and he may wear a reinforced shoe to give him stability. But it sounds as if he'll take the field. As for the quality of the performance, some players have a hard time adjusting to the footwear, and it will be a different feel with the toe taped and not able to get the same kind of pushoff. But if he adapts decently, he could perform well despite the toe. We may not really know until we see him in action, and the first action may be the day of the game. If he doesn't practice at all, I downgrade him a little b/c of that, but if he's playing, there's no way I leave him on the bench.

Bryan (MA)

Whats the word on Wes Welker?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Bryan: I see from your many posts that you really want to know about Welker. But is should not come as a surprise that the Patriots have not disclosed a specific injury related to him. There have been some murmurs of concussion and if you saw how his head hit the ground when his neck snapped back, it is entirely possible. But since we don't know what he's dealing with exactly, it makes it all a little more speculative, so hard to project his status for the weekend.

John DC

Is Hillis' injury going to affect him vs KC?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

John: According to SHanahan, Hillis is banged up "everywhere" but he should be fine to play against Kansas City. They may limit him in practice to allow him some better recovery, but I would expect him to play.

Chad (Pittsburgh, PA)

How about Ryan Grants injury. Should it have any effect on gameday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Chad: It really depends on how the thumb shapes up over the week. Grant says he could have come back in the game but between the swelling and stiffness after he sprained it, there was concern about his ability to control the ball. The goal this week will be to get thsoe things under control, and whether he has the ability to handle the ball without the team being concerned that he is a high turnover risk.

VK (DC)

After last week's performance should we assume Westbrook is back to 97%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

VK: Where in the world did he dig that performance out from? He has been really hurting, especially in the ankle, but he knew that Buckhalter was out and Lorenzo Booker was all they had behind him, and he pulled it out. I think his injury concerns remain the same going forward, but I think his production shows that he is certainly capable at this point of being productive, unless he really suffers a setback. Don't expect him to practice much during the week, but expect him to play.

Rob (Wrigleyville)

Starphania, let's pretend for a minute that Plax is allowed to play by the authorities, league and Giants..Is his leg going to be healed enough to play at all this year? I want to drop him, but don't want to get burned by another owner picking him up.. THANKS!

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Rob: Interesting question -since the leg he accidentally shot is the one that was already hurt. Details have been murky as you know - but he was at the Giants facility this morning and team doctors were expected to take a look at the bullet wound. There is a chance that he goes on the non-football injury list, and then won't play. I think the chances of him playing are slim, so prepare yourself as if he's gone.

Hank (Boston)

Davone Bess stepped up this weekend. Can I play him now with confidence?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Yes. Especially since he will maintain that role for the rest of the season.

Rob (Salt Lake City, UT)

Reggie Bush played all 4 quarters last week. He had a limited impact during the game last week coming off his knee injury. Is he physically ready to be a play maker again - does he need more time to get back up to speed?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Rob: Your question is a popular one - lots of folks asking the same thing - and it's reasonable. Coming back after a month-plus away from the game is always ana djustment, no matter what kind of shape the players think they're in. There is definitely an element of getting back on the field, making plays/moves in a game situation, and above all, taking contact and getting back up. Whether a week is enough or not is up for debate. Even Bush said he felt rusty. I expect him to improve each week.

Seth Dallas

Is Kellen going to get shut down for the year? He's hurt and has to rely on Ken Dorsey to get him the ball. Ugh

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Seth: Yes, he's hurt - and he's out this week with the high ankle sprain. And there's nothing good about the Cleveland situation now. But that doesn't mean they'll automatically shut him down. I haven't heard a time frame yet issued by the team - and high ankle sprains can be variable, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's out for at least 2 weeks.

Dan (Philadelphia)

Good morning! Warrick Dunn has been fairly productive the last couple of weeks but should I worry about Cadillac taking away carries as he continues to heal and ease into a more prominent role? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Dan: Yes, Cadillac will likely steal some carries, especially scoring opportunities - but then again, Dunn was never really a scoring threat. Dunn will be a workhorse for yards, but I think Cadillac will continue to do more - and score more.

Dan (Boston)

What do you think of Champ Bailey this week? If he plays whats his impact against KC?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Dan: Well, the impact of Bailey on the field is hard to underestimate, And it looks as if the Broncos will have him back this week. The good news is that they have taken their time in bringing him back and that definitely makes it more likely that he returns with impact, closer to full strength.

Bryan (Pitts)

Any update on how S. Jax feels? And how slaton feels after being a work horse last night? Need these guys for playoffs!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Bryan: Well Slaton was banged up going into last night's game - but was amzingly prodcutive nonetheless. With Ahman Green out, they will continue to lean on him. Jackson came through his first outing OK. A little sore and tight, but no worse. PRobably good that they didn't play him in the fourth quarter. Expect him to play this week - and maybe a little more.

Chris (Trenton, NJ)

I picked up Schaub because a team in my plaoff bracket has been starting Rosenfels and foolishly left Schaub on the waiver wire. Tell me Schaub will be regaining the starting job soon, and this fool in my league will be left high and dry.

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Chris: Rush out and get him. Thre is a decent chance that Schaub is the starter in Week 14, but it's not guaranteed. He was able to serve as the backup Monday night, meaning the team felt he was healthy enough to go into service if needed. It will likely play out in this week's practice, but it is a possibility.

RB (NC)

Good morning Stephania. Each week I have to check to see FWP's status. Any word on how he is feeling after the game. What are your thoughts on playng S. Morris over him this week? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

RB: Seems like Parker came out unscathed. THe fact that the Steelers cut Davenport -again - seems to confirm that. The 1-2 punch that Parker and Moore delivered makes it more likely that they will continue to use them in tandem. Now Morris will face the Seahawks this week which is a nice matchup for him, and he is likely to be used in goal line situations, but Faulk is definitely being featured more of late. I mkight stick with Parker.

Jake (Baltimore)

Hi injury-expert ["The"]Stephania Bell: I want to grab Addai as a buy-low, but am worried since the Colts seem to go as Jeff Saturday goes. Any word on Saturday? Should I steer clear of Colts? Thanks, and have a great day!

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Jake: Great observation. I agree - it's amazing how different the offense is without him in it. So the not so good news is that he is unlikely to be in the lineup this week. Of course we have to see what he can do in practice -but initial reports had him out several weeks. Even if he beats that, he may not be there this week.

Steve (SF)

Whats up with McFadden getting so few touches I thought he was heathly?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Steve: I think he is healthy-er...I think the Raiders are reluctant to overuse him given the toe injuries that he's had - and I think they are working him in inc ertain situations, but are still making Fargas the primary. Until that pattern changes, I would only see using him as a flex player.

Adam (Chicago)

How's Brandon Jacobs feeling?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Adam: Good - apparently. There hasn't been any update on Ahmad Bradshaw - but if he remains out with his neck, Jacobs is in for another big week.

Lonnie (Dallas)

Hey Steph! I know you already talked about Westy but could you tells us about his toe? What will Philly do to make it easier to play on or try to reduce the pain? Thx again!

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Hi Lonnie: Well, I don't think it is that serious since he was able to return to the game with it re-taped. They will probably continue to tape his toe for support - and he'll get some treatment for it along with the other things he's getting treatment for, but it shouldn't be the thing that keeps him off the field.

Derek (Albany, NY)

Not exactly an injury, but whats up with Matt Jones and his suspension?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Derek: Reasonable question - since a while ago it sounded as if we'd be hearing something soon. But there's been no word yet - and a decision would have to come down today in order for something to affect his status for this weekend. I expect him to play this week.

Jayson (Orlando, FL)

Hi Starphania! Thanks for the chat. Was there anything to Kevin Smith's shoulder injury that caused his lackluster performance last Thursday? It's getting REALLY hard to be a Lions fan these days.

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Jayson: I think he's just depressed about being a Lion too. Seriously, he's a lttle banged up, but the shoulder is not the reason they're collectively underperforming.

David (Indianapolis)

Steph! How is Derrick Mason's shoulder? I know he's been playing through it and had a great game this past week, but is this something we should worry about?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

David: It will probably bother him for the remainder of the season to some degree - but he's actually been able ot play pretty well, and ti certainly hasn't caused Flacco to shy away from throwing to him. So given that, I wouldn't worry about it unless he actually suffers a setback that renders him worse.

Jeff (Philly)

Last try... Big week for me as the playoffs begin. Which of my walking wounded at RB are safe to play based on what we know now: Portis, Jacobs, Grant, & C. Williams? Which of these backups has the most value for the last four weeks: Betts, Bradshaw, or B. Jackson? Would S. Morris or F. Jackson (I also have Lynch) make more sense? Thanks for the help...

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Jeff: Yes, big week for everyone in the playoffs...We've talked about all of these guys in the chat (scroll transcript for detail) and I would say it's actually too early in the week to call it safe for Grant and Prtis - although I think they will play. I would say as of now, Jacobs has the most value, least risk. In the backups, Jackson does b/c he turned in a strong performance Sunday and may be called upon again to assist Grant. Jackson has been quietly putting up some numbers - and I think he and Jackson are about even - today - based on what they could do this week. I love Morris - but the team is not really using him to the degree I would expect. They may let him loose against the Seahawks though - but you'll take a gamble - it is the Patriots.

Carlos (Texas)

Hi Stephania! What's the status of T. Scheffler? I have Winslow, and given his injury situation, I am considering dropping him and picking up Tony for the playoffs. Your thoughts

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Scheffler is finally starting to get healthier and looks good going forward for the Broncos.

Lance (Chan, MN)

What is the status of Trent Edwards this week?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Lance: The hope is that with some treatmnet, Edwards will be able to practice Wednesday. But he strained his groin pretty significantly. So there's a chance that Losman starts. Won't know mroe until Weds or Thurs.

Adam (DC)

Is Romo fully recovered, I saw that the splint was coming off this week. Should i consider benching him against Pittsburg for Tyler Thigpen this week?

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Adam: I think Romo is just about fully recovered. The issue is that even removing the splint (a good sign that he's fully healed) means you're changing something that he has now become used to. So he has to adjust to that. He's been practicing throwing a bit with the splint off already though so I don't think it will be that bad. I still like Romo, despite the matchup.

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

OK everyone: Time for me to say good-bye. Thanks for bringing all of your excellent questions - We'll do it again Friday at 11. Hope to see you there!!