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October 6, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Jay (B-More)

Philip Rivers is my QB1, but he has a bye this week. Hasselbeck is my backup. Will he be 100% this weekend, or should I find another QB to spot start?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Hi Jay: I don't think he'll be 100%, but I think they're holding out some hope he'll play. They actually hope he can practice today and that will be the start of determining his availability. Last week he couldn't breathe deeply without pain, so couldn't run. I would make sure you get insurance b/c it may come down to the weekend, although we should get a good idea by Friday.

James (PA)

Will Marion Barber be OK after the re activation of his injury in the second half?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Hi James...I see all your questions but am picking this one...mostly b/c I'm wondering how many people noticed that Barber played sparingly in the second half. Apparently his quad "tightened up" - as I said before the weekend, there was really no reason to think he was 100%, and although he provided some fantasy points, he was limited and got more so as the game went on. I'm not sure it was a huge setback, more that he just couldn't do much more. Another week of healing time should help him be in better shape heading into Week 5.

Evan (Boston)

Why is a "non-contact injury" more concerning than a contact injury, e.g. Eli Manning?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Evan: Great question. It certainly doesn't imply that contact injuries aren't bad (the worst concussions, broken bones, etc). But when a guy goes to the ground when he's not touched, it has to be a significant enough failure of some key body part (usually soft tissue - i.e. ligament, muscle/tendon) that it can bring him to a dead stop. So it's usually a major injury that does that - ACL, Achilles rupture, etc. In Eli's case, a progression (maybe slight tearing?) of the plantar fascia injury.

Eric (TN)

Has there ever been a case of somebody coming back quickly after having turf toe ? Alot of people laugh it off but it is a really serious injury. With that said do you think Mendenhall would be a safe pick up for the next few weeks ?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Eric: It all depends on the severity of the injury. Mild turf toe sometimes allows players to play within a week or two - and although they rarely feel 100%, sometimes they can perform. More often than not, it's pretty disabling for a few weeks, especially if you're a RB/receiver or anyone who needs to run hard. No word on Parker yet - we will have to see if he can even run this week, but I would expect Medenhall to start again.

Ben (Boston)

Hi Stephania, any updates on a couple of injured starting RBs: Westbrook and J. Lewis? I don't own either but have both backups.

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Ben: Westbrook returned to practice and I have thought all along that he would return after the bye so I expect him back this week. Lewis is a different story - did nothing but ride the bike last week so really could not do anything on his hamstring. He's a day=to-day, but I doubt he'll be full health by next week.

Justin (Denver)

Hi Stephania. What happened with Calvin Johnson?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Justin: Strained quad. They're calling him day-to-day. Think Marion Barber-like injury.

Charlie (NY)

How bad is McFadden and what's the typical recovery time? Any expected loss of mobility, burst, etc?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

CHarlie: TOrn meniscus requiring surgery (they will clip out the torn piece). The Raiders say 2-4 weeks, but rarely is this a 2 week return. Post-surgery they have to get swelling down, range of motion back and especially quad strength. For a RB, generally closer to 4. Also depends on exact size, location of tear. This is the injury/surgery Antonio Bryant had and he did great in rehab, came back at 4 weeks, and then has struggled since playing in the first game with some recurrent soreness/swelling. So don't be surprised if it takes a bit longer.

J. Ceol (Akron)

I sang for you and you still didn't post my question? Unbelievable.

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

I can't hear you...

Matt (DC)

Does Portis need rest or is surgery required?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Matt: Could be both. Spurs don't typically just go away, especially ones inside a joint. Rest helps with any pain, swelling, irritation the spurs create. Activity potentially aggravates. Sometimes changing a program slightly can help minimize the symptoms - which seems to be where Portis is now. I can tell you that I certainly don't expect him to have surgery during the season. If anything, will be afterward.

Ryan (Springfield)

Hello Step! Your 9ers are amazing on D. Did you notice anything wrong with LT or was it just the stiff steelers D that made him look bad?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

RYan: I know! 39 points in one of my fantasy leagues... As for LT, I think if you actually watched him run, he was moving pretty well, but they could not get run game going. Chargers then were way behind and resorted to an entirely dedicated passing game. LT's stats not reflective of him as much as of the game. The good part is he came out of the game feeling well.

Brian (RSN)

Could you elaborate on Eli's Injury. This is is push off foot, this could be more problematic than the plant foot, right? This will make him float some passes(use less lower body in the throws) and cause tips and picks

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Brian: Certainly the worry is that he can't dig in with that right foot when it's so painful and naturally it would alter his mechanics. If you saw video of when he went down, he put his right foot back to set after dropping back, and he was in essentially a lunge position with his right leg back and his foot positioned with ball of foot on the ground, heel off. Huge stretch on the plantar fascia in that position, then with force applied for him to step up and throw. He immediately pulled the foot up and hopped, making me think he might have created a small tear, which basically just aggravates the inflammation already present. This is a TOUGH injury to get better.

Steve (Atlanta)

Do you think Eli's injury could be a problem all year or is it something that will likely improve with time?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Steve: To follow up on that last post, I think it's going to be an issue, at least for a while and perhaps throughout the year. He will have to rest/support the arch as much as possible during the week, and then they will attempt to tape/wrap it for support as the season goes on. These things usually only get fully better with extended (as in many weeks to months) rest. Doesn't mean he can't function and function well if they can calm the pain down. But it does mean that it likely remains lurking in the background.

Rich (Kansas)

Any update on F. Gore?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Rich: It's too soon for the 49ers to give an update. He is only doing rehab stuff for now as they already issued a 3 week timeline on him. So maybe we get a hint of whether he's doing any additional activity by the end of the week - but not before.

Jake (GB)

Stephania, Love the podcast!! I know we didnt get a great sample of Greg Jennings last night...but any word on how his wrist was feeling after the game. 380 yards from rodgers and only 31 to jennings is depressing...

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Jake: GB hasn't said anything - I really think it's a function of the offense and not his wrist. He's not the main target right now.

Pierre Thomas (Big Easy)

Is Mike Bell coming back to steal my thunder after the bye week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Pierre: You just need to keep playing like you're playing and no one is going to be sitting you down. But Bell is getting healthier and as you ought to know, your team expects him back after the bye week.

Kyle (Miami)

What's going on with Corell Buckhalter. Will Knowshon be splitting with anyone if Buckhalter can't go?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Kyle: He has a sprained ankle and was on crutches after the game but word is X-rays were negative. Buckhalter seemed to downplay the injury - but as we've seen, it can be something that makes it tough for a RB to perform. Have to imagine they would use Peyton Hillis if Buckhalter can't go - but clearly Moreno is their go-to guy.

Steve (New Orleans)

Stephania, you know that's not really Pierre Thomas, right. It's just someone saying its Pierre THomas, so that you answer their question. FYI.

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

No way! :)Just playing along, just playing along.

Ryan (New York)

Off topic but you should let someone at ESPN know that they ranked the Packers D/ST in the "projections" for week 5. They have a bye in week 5.

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Ryan: Maybe they're better with zero points than some teams with negative points- -just kidding, appreciate the heads-up.

Chad (DC)

What was wrong with Bowe last week is the hamstring still hurting. He didn't seem like the same WR.

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Chad: Their whole offense is hurting. It's almost hard to gauge. When Matt Cassel comes out and says they have no offensive identity it kind of tells the story. I do think he's still on the mend - on the upswing, but still on the mend and I think he gets better this week.

John (Tampa)

Should I sell W Welker after a healthy looking week in fear that his knee issue could linger again? Woudl you trade him for R White in a ppr?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

John: Not sure I would rush to do that. After all, it was after a setback in Week 1 that they played it much safer, not wanting to bring him back before they thought he was truly ready so as NOT to risk his future. While it's impossible to predict with any certainty, I think the fact that he got through it (apparently) OK is a good sign going forward.

Johnny (Gainesville, FL)

Quick college question, Tebow playing on Saturday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Johnny: No way to know yet.

Todd (ATL)

Stephania, you know that wasn't really Steve in New Orleans, right? It was really Pierre Thomas, using a fake name so he could follow the chat anonymously. FYI.

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Todd: you're funny.

Big Sam (ATL)

How dare Nate and Matthew suggest that Michael Smith take your place on the podcast?! For shame.

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Big Sam: Did they now? Well, it's up to you guys to let them know how you feel!!!

Daniel (New York)

Hey Stephania, I know you are an "injury expert", but on the podcast i always sounds like you know a thing or two about football also... Do you think your 49ers D is "for real"? Can we start them with confidence regardless of opponent?

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Daniel: Well actually, I like to think I know a thing or two. If not, then the injury info wouldn't really be that relevant, right? And yes, for real. Have you watched Willis play? Inspirational - and you can count on them forcing a turnover each week - especially within their crummy division.

Matt (DC)

Is there an update on Felix Jones?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Matt: Not yet - but no surprise really. We have suspected he would be out until after the bye - and so we will not hear anything for a while.

Jon (Dallas)

Stephania,I would be so honored if you answered my question.How serious is Roy E Williams rib injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Jon: I would love to honor you. It's no joke! Rib cartilage can be just as painful, if not more so, than rib fractures. And -it often takes a little longer to recover since cartilage really does not have great blood supply and it's tough to get healing there. They will likely put him in a rib belt to limit movement as much as possible and then it will be a wait and see. I would not be surprised if he is out this week.

Ian (Boston)

Hey Stephania... is McNabb going to be in full form next week? I don't know if I feel comfortable starting him over Sanchise against Miami.

Stephania Bell:
  (11:45 AM)

Ian: Also a work in progress. He's clearly feeling much better since he is back in practice. Whether he's 100% is hard to know - but put it this way, I do expect him to play - and it's against Tampa Bay...

Nate (NY)

Hey Stephania, how do you like D. Ward going forward? I might need him in the next few weeks as a bye week fill-in.

Stephania Bell:
  (11:48 AM)

Nate: I don't especially like him for the next week at least. He's still recovering from the knee issue and is no lock to play -and they face the Eagles. I expect Cadillac to start. They won't tell us "what" the knee injury is - but the fact that he's not likely to practice much this week does not make me think anything good.

Rob (State College)

Hi Stephania - never miss your chats! Kurt Warner's shoulder is concerning me. So is the rest of his aging body. Is he okay to start against Houston, or would you ride Flacco? PS. Is coffee a PED if you are a writer??

Stephania Bell:
  (11:50 AM)

Hi Rob: I think Warner is definitely feeling some weight of his QB age - and the shoulder was sore after the stinger. I expected him to get rest over the bye week to move i along, but he did actually practice twice during the bye week. I think the fact that he was out there is actually a good sign (they still had more rest than usual) and he wants to prove he's not done. Bottom line is that he needs better protection. Given all that, I might go with Flacco, and no coffee is not a PED, it is a necessary writing tool.

Droopy (NY)

Does Tashard Choice have flex value the rest of the season? With those 2 guys always in and out (Jones and Barber) Choice seems like hell be consistently getting work, what do u think?

Stephania Bell:
  (11:52 AM)

Droopy: I think he continues to get work - and I'm not all that confident in Jones - he's missed a ton of time already in his short career -and his latest injury is a tough one to come back from and play effectively. So I would keep choice as a great flex option (and I am in my fantasy league)

Chet (Philly)

Did Kevin Smith hurt himself again, or is he just sore?

Stephania Bell:
  (11:55 AM)

Chet: Very unclear with the Lions not saying much. This is the party line: He's day-to-day after playing through a shoulder injury. Does that mean setback? Or does it just mean they rest him early in the week as a means of getting him ready for the next week? I'm inclined to think it's the latter b/c there was no obvious point where he got hurt or was forced out of the game. And he certainly had a good game. Sooooooo. we wait the week out and see, but so far I'm not overly concerned.

chris (latham ny)

my kevin smith question was better then chet's

Stephania Bell:
  (11:56 AM)

OK Chris - Air time for you too...and yes, I'd play him.

Scott (St Louis)

Stephania, any word on Marc Bulger? When do you expect him to be starting for our horrible offense again?

Stephania Bell:
  (11:58 AM)

Scott: I'm ansering your question b/c I just feel badly for you after our Niners' bludgeoning of your team. Bulger really did nothing last week and so until we get some practice reports his status is unclear. He did do some light throwing Monday which suggests that his shoulder is feeling better -a nd this is usually about a two week deal - so I think there's a decent chance he's back this week.

Jordan (Dallas, TX)

I hope i havent been bugging you :*(. Please, Is Antonio Bryant's knee finally HEALTHY? im thinking of picking him up as a flex, since he is potentially Tampa Bay's go-to WR.

Stephania Bell:
  (12:00 PM)

Jordan: No, not bugging me. You really can't say healthy until you see him go into a game, perform, come out OK and fully practice the following week. So we're still waiting to see. BUT - I like how he looked this week when he was in the game...

Chris (Lynchburg, VA)

Stephania, you said earlier you don't expect Portis to have surgery during the season. With the Redskins season probably ending up somewhere around 4-12 (I'm a Skins fan even) if he chooses to have surgery for those bone spurs because the season's in the tank, is that a surgery he could come back and play this season or would it keep him from doing football related activities for months?

Stephania Bell:
  (12:01 PM)

CHris: Months - kind of like what Westbrook had in June and could not return until September - so it becomes a season-threatening issue...

John (Redwoods, CA)

Will McCoy get time this week with Westbrook coming back from injury?

Stephania Bell:
  (12:02 PM)

John: Yes - and probably more than Westbrook - the Eagles will mix them up...

Ben (Boston)

I've been asking that question for 45 min. and now Jordan gets on. Although I was on earlier...

Stephania Bell:
  (12:03 PM)

Yes, Ben you have. So acknowledged. But isn't the most important thing that your question is essentially being answered??? I do read them all, even after the chat is over so that I can try to get to some of the missed questions in my blog or in the next chat. So don't give up!!

Stephania Bell:
  (12:03 PM)

OK everyone - I have to vacate the room for the next howt. Thanks for stopping by! See you again Friday. Same time. Same channel.