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October 27, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:01 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation - and Happy Tuesday. I woke up with no voice today - but lucky for us, I can still work the keyboard! So let's get to your injury questions - and Monday Night Football was full of guys leaving the field with assistance...

Nirmal R (NYC)

I know its early, and info is limited, but can you condone dropping Chris Cooley? I really can't afford to keep dead weight on my bench.

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Nirmal: It is early - but go ahead and drop him. Cooley apparently broke his ankle (on the tibia - the big shinbone). So it sounds as if you're looking at at least 6 weeks - at least - so good chance he's done.

Joe (LA)

Any reason to be concerned about Gore? And what's the Star going as for Halloween?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Joe: I'm not concerned about Gore - they just got behind, needed to throw the ball - and he didn't do much. I am concerned about the fact that I have no ideas yet for Halloween.

Jacob (Ohio)

What's the deal with Andre Johnson? Bruised lung? That sounds serious yet the Texans didn't seem too concerned and placed him as day-to-day.

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Jacob: You're right - any time you have an injury to an internal organ it is serious in that you can't risk further damage while it is healing. In fact, Johnson continued to play after the hit but started spitting up blood (the telltale sign) so they took him out - but had to hide his helmet to keep him from trying to get back in! The good news is that this should heal fairly quickly - but as to whether it will be in time for this weekend is unclear. I would be sure to have backup as it may come down to gametime.

Stephen (Chicago)

What are you going to dress up as this halloween Starphania? What is the status of Brian Westbrook? He took a big hit to the head, do you see him missing several weeks?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Stephen: Westbrook did take a big hit - scary, a sit always is when a guy doesn't move for a while afterward. It sounds as if the Eagles are hinting at him NOT being available for this week. more McCoy.And as to your first question - don't know, stuck...

Matthew (No. Cal)

Hi Stephania. I own Leon Washington in a keeper league. Do you think he'll make a full recovery by next season? Will he be the same player after an injury like this?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Matthew: This is a great question b/c he sustained a very tough injury - a compound fracture - meaning the bone broke the skin - and both leg bones were broken. Surgery to put in a rod, long healing time, followed by a stiff ankle that will need a lot of rehab to get better. It's possible that by the time they get to spring he's still "recovering." I'd like to think he's ready - but it's a bad injury - hard to be confident.

Tim (Pittsburgh)

Obligatory Calvin Johnson update, please? If there is one?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Tim: Ah Tim...if only. Detroit doesn't say anything when the teams are playing. During a bye week they go into hibernation. Nothing yet until we see what he's able to do in practice. Just nothing - and so hard to predict b/c they have been unclear as to whether it's knee or thigh (although most suggest knee)...frustrating, I know.

Jonathan (City by the Bay)

How serious is reggie wayne's injury, is he going to be out this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Jonathan: That's my brother's name - but he defected and moved to L.A....Wayne has a groin strain and it sounds as if they think it's less serious than originally thought. Officially they're saying they want to see how he responds to treatment throughout the week. Now muscle strains are always tricky - and always seem to take a little longer - and groin strains are no different - so while I'm not sure what the timetable will be, I would venture to guess he won't be 100% by this weekend.

Chris (Colorado)

I missed the game last night but heard DeSean got hurt. Is it serious, what happened?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Chris: DeSean hurt his right foot (calling it a sprain - very generic) - he actually had X-rays at halftime but did come back to play in the second half. He was limited - but the fact he was on the field in the second half is a good sign. Should know more Weds.

Matt (Savannah, GA)

What are your thoughts on McFadden coming back this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Matt: I think he won't. I think he's a couple weeks away from returning.

Tim (Pittsburgh)


Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Tim: Please don't yell in all caps. The answer is posted on my screen. It happens sometimes that you need to hit refresh and it will come up. Should be there...

Tim (Pittsburgh)

Ah, I hit refresh. Sorry for yelling at you. DING!

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Apology accepted :))

Brandon (Columbus)

You think Donald Brown will miss any games?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Brandon: Although Colts haven't said for sure, there are hints that he might miss this week. They described his injury as a very painful shoulder contusion - and were tossing around who would be in for him if he were to miss time (Hart) - so sounds as if they're making preparations. Not ruling him out for sure, but planning as if...

Jonathan (Philly)

Hey Star, have you heard anything about Trent Edwards? Fitzpatrick in there is making Evans fantasy relevant again, right?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Another Jonathan...Edwards has already been ruled out for Week 8 - and what's not clear is whether he would even regain the starting job once healthy. And yes, little Evans resurgence.

Greg (Cambridge, MA)

Starphania, I'm need to start both Gonzalez and Cotchery this week due to byes. Are they going to play or am I in trouble?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Greg: Well, I definitely would not count on Gonzalez. He's just maybe returning to practice this week - maybe - and that doesn't make him game ready. I think it's another week. Ryan made it sound last week that he thought Cotchery would be good to go with another week of rest - but keep in mind that Cotchery did not practice at all so we don't have much to go on yet.

Robert (Forgotten City, NBA)

I'm feeling like my location was properly named.

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Robert: I see your NBA love - I will be mixing in some NBA questions as the season gets underway - there are just far more football - but I promise, we'll get to them...

Adam (Chicago)

Aside from not being good at football, anything to worry about with Berrian?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Adam: Well, Rice is definitely the favorite Favre target - so there's that worry. berrian did supposedly hurt his hamstring again - but he says he'll play.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Ms. Bell: This one is more due to the actual game and not fantasy but what is the word on Bernard Berrian for Favre Bowl II on Sunday? Vikes fan here who is hoping the team can field three somewhat heathly WRs.

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

So to follow up...given how much his hamstring limited him in the early part of the season, he'll have to show he can run full speed to be a factor in this game.

Chad (Wheeling)

Will Boldin be back to 100% this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Chad: With Boldin announcing that his injury was really a high ankle sprain, it's really hard to believe he'd be at 100% this week. And everyone who saw him could see he was limping. But Whisenhunt said Monday that he did not suffer a setback. I'm skeptical that he'd be significantly improved - but it sounds as if the team expects him to play.

Sam (Long Island)

What's going on with Jermichael Finley's knee sprain? Is it a long term concern?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Sam: Hard to say because the info "knee sprain" is so generic. McCarthy has already called him a long shot to play this week so don't expect him in Week 8. Beyond that, too early to say.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

In your experience, when a coach says a player is a game time decision, what are the chances that the player will be benched? 75%? Seems to me if the injury is serious enough to be a game time decision, more often than not, the player will sit.

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Shane: Not always that simple. Some things they really want to see how a guy feels game morning. They may have worked out hard Friday for the first time and they want to be sure there are no setbacks. Or their condition is up and down and it really depends how it's behaving that morning. Very inconsistent and depends on the injury.

Tim C (Bakersfield,CA)

What was Harvin's status after the game, I knew I should have put him in.

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Tim: Not much word out of Minnesota. he did take a couple of big hits - can't imagine they felt too good - but we certainly haven't heard that he's any worse off.

Ben (Boston)

I was hoping for a big week from Tashard Choice; didn't happen. Whats the outlook for the future? Can we say Barber and Jones are now fully healthy?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Ben: It certainly didn't play out the way it was expected. Jones looked pretty good as far as his knee - and got about the amount of work I would expect. Barber was the number one - also expected, but the running game just wasn't huge for Dallas on Sunday - and given that the passing game became the focus, maybe they just didn't bother to utilize him. Very weird though. I still think Barber is better - but not 100% - and may still be wearing the cast next week. Jones also clearly able to play - but not full game worthy. Choice is the only fully healthy one - but they didn't use him. Go figure - I still think he has a role and am not sold on Jones staying healthy.

Dave (Chicago)

Good Morning, Is Donnie Avery still alive and will he play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Dave: He is - he's been pressing on despite a number of different ailments this year - so I expect him to do the same this week - he actually led the team in receiving this week.

Merrill (ATL)

With a concussion what tests are given to see if one is alright? Westbrook is reportedly going to take tests today to see if he is okay thats why Im asking.

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Merrill: Sometimes they do scans (CT, etc). They will no doubt be doing some cognitive testing (which measure how the brain processes information - i.e. reaction time, etc) - things a player can't control meaning they're more objective. They compare those test results to tests performed before the season starts to see how the concussion has impacted the brain's ability to process information. That along with regular physical exams and follow-up questions in regards to how his symptoms are behaving.

Joe (NY)

Is Seattle's O line/ Walter Jones healthier so they can protect Hasselbeck better?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Joe: Walter Jones's recovery not going so smoothly. Now it sounds as if he might not rejoin the team until into November - and that's if he can. Very slow going for him.

Riley (Lincoln, NE)

Stephania Bell! My favorite injury expert! Do you know anything about Antoine Winfield's injury in Minnesota?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Riley: Thanks! Some reports say broken foot - he said sprain - the reports of a broken foot project a 4-6 week absence, which is reasonable - if it's a sprain as he says, it could be less. Either way - it certainly sounds as if he won;t be playing this week.

Shaun (Boston, MA)

Stephania, I just traded for Steven Jackson. I like the security of yardage and touches, but I'm a bit concerned given his injury history and the fact that the Rams will continue to ride him hard. Is this a legitimate concern or has he turned a corner this year in terms of his health? Thanks for the help.

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Shaun: I think that he has proven himself healthy this year - no real legitimate reason at this point to worry about his overall health. Doesn't mean he couldn't get injured at any time, but anyone no, I don't think he's at any greater risk.

Tom (Des Moines IA)

Is Julius Jones hurt or is it more of a offense problem?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Tom: I think it's more of a Julius Jones problem. And the last time he played I think he only rushed for 5 yards - but I also think they only had the ball for 17 minutes or something like that. Still, when their offense has been hot, he's still mediocre. No injury excuse.

Wade (T-Town)

Stephania, help! I currently have 4 WR's on my roster; Roddy White, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, and Bernard Berrian. 3 of them as you know got hurt this weekend. What's the status of these guys?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Wade: How did your question sneak in? I answered on your 3 guys already...scroll down, they're in there.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

What is the likelihood that Stephania Bell recovers from her voice strain for her chat on Friday? Cute. I know. How healthy is Pierre Thomas?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Jason: Yes, cute. I would call myself probable for friday. And Thomas seems to be healthy. The hamstring was the latest thing we heard about, but it wasn't the limiting factor last week. They were behind and had to throw. Also, I do think Bell will tend to get used around the goal line, but Thomas should still keep his value.

Mike (NY)

I keep hearing about Chris Samuel's possible retirement which is terrible news. They said he is risking paralyzing himself, what happened to him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Mike: he is going to consult with a spine specialist this week. He has spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal houses the spinal cord. When there is a more narrow canal, it makes it easier for the cord to get bumped or bruised when the neck is at its extremes of motion (severely flexed or extended). So when a guy takes a big hit that forces the neck to snap in one direction, it runs the risk of bruising the cord - or worse - which can result in paralysis. That's why the big worry.

Ben (Boston)

Time to sneak one more AJ Q in. Is his injury going to limit his football ability (jumping, running) or is this just a concern that he gets hit again before it is fully healed?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Ben: Mostly a concern that he gets hit again. At least that's the most serious. But anytime the lung is injured - it's harder to take a deep breath, etc which translates into running effectively and endurance. So it's some of both

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Thanks for coming Sports Nation! It's time for me to leave - but I will be back Friday and hopefully we'll have updates on all the mystery guys - like the Detroit Lions and Sammy Morris. Have a good week - and stay healthy!