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September 29, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good morning Sports Nation: Another week of football, another week of injuries...And here we all are trying to make heads or tails out of what tidbits we've been able to get so far...

gary (island of long)

whats the story with Forte's injury, I havent heard anything

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Gary: Probably because even though he left in the first quarter with it, he did come back. The team hasn't said any more about it, so it does not sound major at this point.

CHRIS (KALAMAZOO, MI)

Thanks a bunch Stephania for talking me into benching Desean Jackson Sunday, those 20 points look great on my bench.

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Chris: OK - Let's be clear. I tell you what the risks vs rewards are - and you make the decision. I did not bench Jackson Sunday. Why? Because even though, as I said, there was some risk that the groin was not fully healed, and that on a wet surface, he COULD potentially aggravate it and have to leave early, I also said that he put in a full practice Friday after resting all week, always a good sign. In other words, he was not likely to be 100% healthy (which is still true), but he was better at the end of the week than the start.From here on out, rarely is any guy going to be 100% healthy. It's a risk vs reward and you as the team owner have to make the decision

Marcie (Washington)

I was impressed with choice. I was thinking about getting him as a flex option but is barber going to be back and/or felix cut into his workload and is he a good play against denver?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Marcie: He caught a lot of folks' attention last night - so your question is a great one. I still think he's a great flex and here's why. Despite Barber's optimism, we really haven't seen him tested at anything close to full speed. So unless he does that in practice this week, we cannot be sure he's ready to go. Also, Jones' injury may be more serious than first indicated. He's apparently getting an MRI today - and this is the same leg he had two injuries on last year.

Andrew (Louisville, KY)

Good morning Stephania! Want some Coffee? I bet Frank Gore owners do this week! Ok, lameness aside, which of these slumped stars do you think has more value for the rest of the season, Antonio Bryant or Bernard Berrian?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Andrew: OK - not bad - and btw, for anyone who can get him, Coffee is THE pick-up of the week with the news that Gore will be out at least 3 weeks...I am really bummed about Bryant. His physical setback was the initial problem, now I'm just concerned about the entire TB offense. I think Berrian is a big play guy for the Vikings, but now that we're seeing Favre spread it around a bit, I think Berrian will be inconsistent. If I had to decide today, I'm keeping Berrian...but I'm not thrilled about it.

Darren (MN)

Kevin Smith.....whats the deal?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Darren: Lions being very hush-hush. But what you don't like is when they're calling a player week-to-week (as opposed to day-to-day), implies more serious - other than that all we have today is that it's his shoulder. I would be making alternate plans for this week.

Kenny (IA)

Hi Stephania, Have you heard any word on Anthony Gonzalez? I'm tempted to keep him on my team but with Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie garnering Manning's trust, will he even find room to play when he returns?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Kenny: It's a great question. My concern is not that Manning wouldn't go back to GOnzalez, it's that when players return from these PCL injuries, they often struggle initially (see Andre Johnson, Sidney RIce in prior years). The knee is still a little unstable and it does affect their performance, not to mention that the team will likely roll him out slowly. I dropped him in my league, even though it was painful.

mike ((texas))

hi stephania, whats the word on L.T, will he play this week or should i pick up a rb thats 100 percent healty.

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Mike: If you can find me a RB that's 100% with more upside who's available, then get him. There's no way to guarantee after a guy's been out of practice for 2 weeks, that when he's just starting back to practice, he'll be 100% by Sunday...but I will say this, he's feeling better (no limp), the team is encouraged and he IS getting back to practice. That said, you make sure you have a backup you can live with b/c the Chargers have a bye in Week 5 and if he's not good to go, they willr est him one more time.

Berislav (Phoenix)

Unfortunately, since I have Barber and Smith, this chat hasn't been a very uplifting one thus far. Can you give me a positive prediction for Jamal Lewis for this weekend or do I need to look at the waiver wire for help? If not, would you rather have Coffee, Buckhalter or Choice?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Berislav: I'd like to give you some positive, but can't really when it comes to Lewis. He never even made it to practice last week, it was never really a question he wouldn't go. SInce there's no practice until today, you can't say how he looks yet this week. Of your three, I like Choice and Coffee. Coffee more this week b/c he will be the go-to guy for sure and they play the Rams.

Reggie (Denver)

Any news on Matt Hasselbeck or should I look elsewhere for a bye week replacement at QB?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Reggie: Not definitive yet - but it's sounding like they might decide to rest him another week.

Erik (Philadelphia)

Hi Stephania,Any word on Bowe's hamstring? And what was it that kept Harvin out of practice all last week, is he fine now?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Erik: Here's what I like about Bowe. Despite the fact he didn't play, which was wise, he was out there mixing it up in practice last week, even though he was limited. So that bodes well for him being in even better shape (barring a setback as he ramps it up) this week.Harvin had migraines - and has had problems with them before. Obviously he played well Sunday, but the unpredictable nature of migraines means it could crop up any time.

Paul (Miami, FL)

Hello fellow U alum!! What is the status on Portis and his injury?? Go Canes!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Paul: Yes, of course still a fan but it was a sad performance for most of last Saturday. Portis will be dealing with spurs for the remainder of the season. They don't go away. They can go from being more to less painful, usually directly proportional to work and pounding - so this is bound to be an up and down thing for Portis. I think at the end of the day he will have different amounts of use depending on how he feels in a given week and who they're facing. Probably more work for betts.

Lara (AZ)

What's your thoughts on Lance Moore for this week? Need to drop someone this week to fill in for a bye, If he isn't going to be productive for a while I consider him droppable for now.

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Lara: Risky if you make the move now. As a receiver who was out with a hamstring there's a good chance that he's not ready this week - or at least not fully back. I would go elsewhere.

Kyle (Haines)

With Laurent Robinson out for the season will the Rams be throwing more to Donnie Avery?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Kyle: You have to think Avery becomes a bigger target. He was named the No. 1 receiver heading into the season - then the foot injury - and he was extremely impressive in terms of getting himself ready and back to shape. And then he quickly became a non-factor. But I think with RObinson (sadly) out, he will become a bigger target.

Rob (Minneapolis)

Pierre Thomas looked great in the 2nd half on Sunday. Do you feel his performance warrents a start this week? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Rob: Absolutely. I think he proved that the wait was worth it. He would not have been able to run like that if he had not been this far along in the healing process. Fantasy owners take note of that - sometimes it's well worth an additional week or two absence to get the bigger production and longer term health when they do get back. I like how he looks going forward.

Chris (STL)

With a bye week this week, do you think Westbrooke will be ready to go in Week 5?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Chris: I do. I still think you have to temper your expectations for him overall. I think he will share the field going forward with McCoy. On another note I also expect McNabb to be back and healthy in Week 5 as well.

Phil S. (NJ)

Follow-up on Gore: Will he ever be 100% for the rest of the season? Don't ankle injuries tend to linger, especially for RBs?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Phil: Good point. And yes, they take a beating in their ankles b/c of the nature of the position. They manage to come back and play following minor sprains, although it may slow them down. But more serious sprains are tough. Gore is dealing with an unusual sprain in that it's his hindfoot, which is a little less common and makes me a little more concerned. He's also tough and will get back as quick as is reasonable, but it remains to be seen how it impacts him - or if it does - as the season goes on.

Jordan (OH)

Any news with Jerious Norwood or Laurence Maroney?

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Jordan: Maroney is probably in the NE doghouse with yet another injury. With Fred Taylor running well this week and an assortment of options, I would worry about his status going forward,regardless of how serious the injury is (which we don't know - other than that it's his thigh).As far as Norwood, he had a concussion that kept him out. They will wait to see if he can practice this week, and practice without any return of symptoms.

Ryan (San Diego)

Hey Stephania, what is the word on Welker? This is a weird situation. I guess I would lean to him playing since it is such a big game in the AFC for them. Your thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Ryan: Weird because we are given zero information and it's like Fort Knox. I have to suspect that after the initial MNF game he had some residual pain or swelling that created a setback and he hasn't been able to convince them that he's past it. I would not count on anything with the Patriots -unfortunately it's tough to provide insight when a guy is not practicing and the team is silent.

Roger (Flo-rida)

Hey Stephania what do you think of caddy this week? or should we wait to see what he does in practice?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Roger: I know everyone hates to hear it - but there's a reason they come out with practice "injury" reports. Here's what I like. Caddy was able to play, despite the fact he had soreness in the knee, so it can't have been that serious. The running game was a non-factory for anyone, so it had nothing to do with his knee. I think he will be playing again this week, they just have to hope their offense is doing a little more. Period.

Collin (Green Bay, WI)

May be hard to believe, but here in Green Bay there's no word on if Greg Jennings's wrist is still bothering him. Is this going to be a problem?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Collin: Well, it was called no big deal in Week 2, but then he was held to no catches. So maybe it was a bit of a factor after all. Then in Week 3, he makes a couple of big plays on deep balls, but has to leave briefly after apparently aggravating the wrist. He did come back, so I am still on the side of it not being terribly serious, but it does make you want to see him perform up to expectations to truly believe it. I think it's an issue - but not a major one - and within a couple weeks he's back to form.

Jackie (Concord)

How much more time until you think Anquan Boldin is 100%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Jackie: I think he's back. His performance showed us that he was far better than in Weeks 1 and 2 and now he gets a bye week to rest some more.

CJ (Michigan)

How's Knowshon doing? I sat him Sunday cuz he was questionable, and then he went on to have a great game. Any setbacks??

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

CJ: That was a situation where it was wise to sit him, even though painful, unless you really had no one else. The injury showed up late in the week, it was a groin injury (bad for a running back) and he was literally a GTD. WIth it being a late game, you are literally flipping a coin as to whether he plays and then you don't know what you're going to get. On the plus side, when you see the performance you can feel comfortable that it's apparently not an issue going forward.

Kiki (Brazil)

Is it safe to say Kevin Walters is back after his performance this weekend? I'm still concerned his injury might get tweaked.

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Kiki in Brazil: Welcome to the uncertain world of hamstrings, especially for receivers. And - Walter already had one setback which kept him out of Week 2. But you have to like what he was able to do this week and I think he's on the upswing. Of course there's a risk, but once a player shows you he can run full speed, get up in the air and perform as expected, then you have to think the reward outweighs the risk at this point.

Matt (Mtn. View, CA)

Is it still worth it to hold on to James Davis on my bench? 1 - the Browns are looking like a soon to be UFL team...2 - Harrison looks more like the #2 in the depth chart...what do you think?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Hi Matt in my hometown: I think they certainly showed that they like Harrison. And part of that may be that Davis was banged up in Weeks 1 and 2. While I'm not especially high on any Browns RB, I do think that if it's not messing up the rest of your roster, I'd hold onto Davis and see how it plays out the next few weeks.

Haden (Memphis)

Santonio Holmes? What's the word on his injury? He dropped some passes.

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Haden: While the team hasn't come out and said so, it certainly seemed as if the wrist was a factor, for just the reason you mentioned. We'll see if Tomlin sheds any light on it at his conference today, but in the big scheme of things they made it sound as if it were minor, meaning after another week, it should not be as much of an issue.

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Haden: While the team hasn't come out and said so, it certainly seemed as if the wrist was a factor, for just the reason you mentioned. We'll see if Tomlin sheds any light on it at his conference today, but in the big scheme of things they made it sound as if it were minor, meaning after another week, it should not be as much of an issue.

Dan (Philly)

Do we know how bad Felix Jones' injury is yet? When is MRI?

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Dan: MRI expected today - meaning we hope to hear this afternoon. I will update his status in my Thursday blog. Or online tomorrow in my COuntdown Daily segment since he is such a topic of interest.

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

OK everyone - I need to dash. Thanks so much for coming and bringing your excellent questions. I will be blogging about these injuries and any others throughout the week. Please come back for the Friday chat when we talk about what the guys have done all week...Have a great week!