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September 15, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation: SO excited to see so many of you here already. I too suffered injuries to my fantasy roster this week so I can sympathize. Enough about me. Let's get to your questions.

Jim (Durham)

Pierre Thomas, any good news for this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Jim: You are asking the question everyone wants answered. But the answer is far from definite. If you ask Thomas, he insists he's playing...perhaps b/c he worries about Mike Bell. But he needs to prove in practice this week that he can actually handle the duties, so I would say that until we get through Thursday practice, it will be uncertain.

Mike (The Boogie Down)

Madden curse notwithstanding, do you think I should hold on to Troy Polamalu in my IDP league, since it looks like he'll be back in 2-3 wks?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Mike: The timetable is 3-6 weeks, and with the way he runs all over the field, I think it's likely four weeks before he gets back. I still hold onto him b/c I think he's THAT valuable.

Adam (Chicago)

How's Anquan feeling? Will he be good to go this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Adam: Judging from the faces he was making while pacing the sidelines Sunday, not so good. This one took EVERYONE by surprise. THe issue here is that we don't really know if he is just feeling the effects of a gimpy hamstring, or whether all of the other issues around his AZ contract are playing into this. He was active but didn't do much. If he can practice fully this week, I'll be more confident for the weekend.

Dave (RI)

What about Jerod Mayo? I know the Pats dont talk about injuries but have you heard anything?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Dave: You're right, they don't. All we know is that it was his right knee.

Brian (Pittsburgh)

How serious is Hakeem Nicks' foot injury? How likely is it that he will he be out more than 2 weeks?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Brian: The GOOD news is that he apparently did not suffer a Lisfranc injury (midfoot) which when severe can require season-ending surgery, and even when moderate can cause a lot of missed time. One source is reporting that he suffered a short flexor ligament injury in his foot. Can't totally predict - but I would plan on 2-3 weeks as the minimum. Needs to push off that foot effectively.

Steve (Raleigh, NC)

What do you think the chances McNabb plays in Week 2 and if you don't think he will when do you think he'll be back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Steve: Very low. Less than 20%. But I think he's likely back in Week 3. Really depends how much he practices next week.

Andy (Baltimore)

how is matt cassells knee, will he play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Andy: No official update, but I think when a team is making a gametime decision, they're suggesting a player was very close to going, making it far more likely he returns the next week. In my opinion, Cassel was never really that close to going, and I'd like to see a lot more out of him before I would play him in my lineup. I think it's a lot more likely he plays Sunday, but how effectively is the question.

Kyle (San Antonio)

I know a lot of RB's had bad games week#1. That being said, I am really worried about Frank Gore. 22 carries for 30 yards? Its not like Arizona was loading the box either. With Glen Coffee unavailable, should I be worried about lack of production with Gore?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Kyle: No -and he's not hurt for those wondering. I expect him to improve.

Darren (MN)

Who are the best options for buying low this week? with all these injuries and bad performances, there's gotta be some good players flying under the radar.

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Darren: WR Nate Washington, on the upside of a hamstring issue and widely available.

Scott (Missouri)

Bernard Berrian was healthy according to his own words last week and was a huge DUD. Can we expect him to get some targets this week or is the hammy still an issue?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Scott: Of course a guy's going to say that heading into a game, which is why you really have to look at what he does throughout the week. He hadn't done much at all (in the last month really) and even Favre said they hadn't worked together much, so you could not expect him to be a big target. Sounds like he did not get worse, but we knew he wasn't fully ready then. Practice, practice this week

Santino (Boston)

Stephania(Bella), 3 RB league and I have FELIX JONES stashed on my bench. Drop him for CHOICE? How serious is his injury? Grazie

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Santino: I don't think it's that serious (thigh bruise) but the size and depth of the bruise tell a lot...and of course we don't know it. He may not do much in practice until THursday. I wouldn't drop him. He will become more productive.

Josh (Traverse City, MI)

Should we be worried after LT's performance and injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Josh: TOo early to panic. yes he rolled his ankle, but so far we've heard nothing major. And he's probably as ticked off as anyone that he missed part of the game as a result when he's trying to prove he's back.

Eric (CA)

Anything regarding Anthony Gonzalez? We need more than 2-6 weeks...

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Eric: Of course we do. But when the team won't indicate which ligaments, or the severity, you can't say any more. Anyone who does is totally guessing. But that's why we keep our ears to the ground as someone will either give us a good hint soon, or it will become apparent when he's not practicing. Sorry - but I only believe in giving good info - like when I actually have it.

Rich (Alexandria, VA)

Hey Starphania, Love your updates on the Fantasy Focus podcast. Any news on Romo's injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Rich: Thanks for listening! Sounds like the MRI showed no major structural injury and he's expected to play. Always a good sign that the athlete can stay in the game and not miss a play after the injury. I think he may take the running light this week, but he'll play.

Eric (PA)

any way they pick up Harison to replace gonzalez?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Eric: The COlts say no way. And as an another point on his injury, he had a non-contact knee injury. Other than MCLs which usually happen from a blow to the outside of the knee, this is usually an ACL or PCL thing. Translation: If I had to wager a guess, I'm looking at 4 weeks min.

Jordan (Oh)

Thoughts on Kyle Orton this week and his magic finger? Other than Stokely's miraculous catch, his day was pretty dreadful.

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Jordan: Well, the good news is that the healing can only have improved. If he can shed the glove, which I think could happen this week, then he'll have a better grip with the ball.

Brooks (dc)

Do you see Kevin Walter playing this week? If so, are the Texans going to be the high powered offense that we expected?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Brooks: Sounds like Kubiak has already indicated that Walter plays. And let's hope we see that offense.

Ben (Chicago)

All week is looked like Boldin was going to be out and Breaston would see an increased roll. What happened to change things last minute?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Ben: Exactly the question that I and all the other reporters covering the team want answered. When a player (Breaston) is listed as probable, it is rare they they are inactive. In fact, it raises eyebrows in that they are supposed to have a better than 50% chance of playing UNLESS there's a setback. Have not heard of a setback. Very odd b/c Breaston practiced fully all week, Boldin never did. Occasionally this kind of thing happens and we get no explanation. Fantasy nightmare.

Scott (Chicago, IL)

Hey Stephania, can you help out a city? We're all pretty puzzled as to why Brian Urlacher has to miss a season because of a dislocated wrist. Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Scott: Hmm, that's heavy - help out a city. To be honest, it's not like the shoulder where there's one bone and socket and we know exactly what the dislocation is. In the wrist, there are 8 little bones that constitute the wrist. No one has said which bone was dislocated, how badly the ligaments (which anchor one bone to another) were damaged, and whether there was any other tissue involved. Assume they had to put pins in to fixate the wrist, and then it may have been delicate and they don't want to risk any displacement - so it becomes season-ending.

timmie (trenton)

I think you missed that Felix Jones question.

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

I answered it (thigh bruise). Try refresh when there seems to be a question with no answer - sometimes it pops up then.

Ross (Wary of Warner)

Happy Tuesday, Stephania!I would really like your expert opinion on how Warner's health might effect his performance. He seemed tentative and weak and that is no good for Boldin and Fitzy. Should we be scrambling for Leinart, or will Warner improve? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Ross: Warner did NOT look good, I agree - but I think it was a combination of factors, not specifically attributable to his hip. I don't think he's going anywhere anytime soon, but I do think everyone better be at practice this week.

Cory (PA)

Stephania, is your 20% estimate on McNabb playing based on his broken ankle game? Have the Eagles released which rib(s) was broken?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Cory: No - it's based on how much pain broken ribs cause and the likelihood that it is too painful for him to be effective. Although they did not give which number rib, we did hear lower left side. Since the abdominal muscles attach there, hard to throw b/c each time the muscles contract hard (which they do with throwing), it pulls at the injured rib. Much pain.

Vince (Cleveland)

James Davis took a hard hit Sunday, left game with shoulder injury any word on his status?

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Vince: Have not seen anything official yet. It may be that given the head injury beforehand they opted not to risk anything more. Have to wait and see what happens in practice. It's Mangini. We get nothing.

Jules (Brooklyn)

What's Moreno's status? Knee fully healed yet? Will he play more this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Jules: Impossible to say from afar that he's fully healed, but another week under his belt certainly moves him in the right direction. I expect that his workload will increase gradually over the next few games.

Shawn (Cincy)

Any news on Antonio Bryant's knee?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Shawn: He sat in the second half b/c it was bothering him. He denies a setback. I would agree. Remember he had surgery 4 weeks ago and although he looked really good in practice beforehand, it's always different when it's a game and guys are really hitting you all the time. He'll work his way up - probably much better in Week 2 already.

Dan (Philadelphia)

Stephania, youa??ve talked in the past about players who are prone to soft-tissue injuries, but how do you explain Donovan McNabba??s menagerie of injuries? Hea??s broken his ankle and a rib, torn his ACL, suffered a sports hernia and had a thumb injury that cost him two games. Is he just prone to injuries in general or is his seemingly delicate body just a product of his physical and competitive style of play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Dan: I really think he's had a combo of bad luck along with the fact that he's a very physical player. And he's not getting any younger so at this point I do think it starts to take a different toll. There's no good scientific explanation for his particular slew of random injuries, but even if you consider what happened this weekend, he had a guy fall on him in a position where his lower ribs were just exposed.

David (France)

Hi Stephania - thanks for taking questions. A general one here... when an NFL player tears their labrum (like Ochocinco), what are the risks of recurrance without surgery?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

David: I LOVE France... welcome. Good question. Not everyone needs surgery, but a lot of players do because the shoulder becomes more unstable after the labrum and also the capsule (fibrous tissue around the joint) get torn. If they're slipping more (in and out of joint) they become less effective, and surgery will tighten up the joint so they go for it.

B (Philly)

Hi Stephania! Thanks for the chat. I was wondering if there's any news on the O-line injuries for the Chargers (Hardwick

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

B: Too early. Check my THurs blog - hope to have by then.

David (Spokane, WA)

Hey, Steph, Baseball question here; Is Oswalt's back going to be a concern down the stretch?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Hi David: Yes - I know there are still folks playing baseball championships. I think given the bulging disc he's at risk every time he plays. It's not something that goes away completely and he'll need the offseason to get back to Square One - I think he'll perform, but may not be consistent.

Jim (MI)

Regarding James Davis/J. Lewis, do you believe Michael Bush has more value as a bench roster spot? Or, is do you think J. Davis will have much value at all this year. Thanks- so happy and thankful football has started.

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Jim: I think Davis' value goes up as the season goes on - but I think Bush has more immediate fantasy impact.

andy ohio [via mobile]

i thought deangelo was going to get majority of the workload. is j stew achilles something he got back from quickly or is it something to watch

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

ANdy: Definitely something to watch. THis is not automatically behind him. in fact, I'm curious to see what he does in practice and if he needs more rest after playing SUnday. I think Carolina's goal is a true 50/50 split or 60/40 either way depending on the game/matchup, but that ratio depended on how Stewart's health was. We really didn't know what to expect after he missed the entire preseason, but he did seem to run well Sunday and if there are no setbacks, his activity probably goes up a notch.

Matt (Chicago)

How did Marshall look vs. Cincy? Is his hip 100%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Matt: He looked okay - but remember he hadn't been practicing with the team, Orton's finger probably altered their game plan anyway, etc. Marshall, from a surgery healing standpoint is fine. I'm not convinced that his hip has totally regained its "game" shape and that will continue to evolve as the next few weeks move along (assuming he does not suffer some muscle strain or pull, always a risk while getting back to that level).

Steve (Berkeley, CA)

Steph, Cadillac Williams looked great! Is he 100% healthy and do you think he can stay healthy? I got both Williams and Ward so i am covered just in case.

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Steve: He sure looks fully healthy - all the more amazing given what type of injuries he's had. Always a little worried about a guy who can rupture both quads - maybe more of a soft tissue injury risk - but a risk worth taking at this point.

Michael Will (ATL - Baby!)

After his 100 touches yesterday, would you start Fred Jackson over Marion Barber or Thomas Jones this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Michael: I like Jackson over THomas Jones, not necessarily over Barber. I especially like Jackson in a PPR league as he had a number of passes thrown to him, including a couple he couldn't manage which may be attributable to the protection he's stillw earing on his thumb. His thumb will get better each week - so I like him Weeks 2 and 3.

Peter S. (Athens, GA)

Will Benjamin Watson have another night like last night? Should I start Heap or Watson this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Peter: Given those two choices I might go with Watson. Heap has not done much in terms of receptions in the last couple years. BUT -bear in mind that Watson has had a couple of injury-plagued seasons, and started out camp this year injured, so he needs to prove he can stay on the field.

Chris (Ohio)

Hi Stephania Bell! (Diiiiing!!) Matt Schaub said he was okay and just didn't play well, whereas Andre 3000 said he thought his QB was still recovering from the ankle issue........who are you believing? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Chris: Andre probably trying to help his QB out. Both are likely true. Schaub undoubtedly still felt some discomfort in the ankle, as in more than if he had never sprained it - but it shouldn't have been enough of an issue to really affect his play - at least not to that degree.

Glen (Missouri)

Hi Stephania, love your contributions to the podcasts. I read that Colston (Saints) was having issues cutting and was seen only running straight... any insight on an impending injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Glen: No - I think that's without merit. Sometimes a guy just doesn't have the day we want him to.

Brian (TX)

MJD had a wrap on his right forearm yesterday. Should owners be worried?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Brian: Not yet. Yes, he had the wrap on when he met with the media - but he did meet with them and although he wouldn't say anything about it, I'm not worried about it.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

OK everyone - time for me to run. I thank you so much for coming and we'll be here again on Friday, same time, same channel. And Rob, I haven't forgotten about your question - but it will be a while until we get a little deeper into football season.Talk to you Friday!