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November 20, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good morning and happy Friday Sports Nation! I see many of you are already here and I know who you want to know about. Lots of rumors floating around the football injury world...let's see what we know so far...

Miguel (Space Coast, FL)

THE Stephania Bell, what is up. I have a Benson question for you. Is he OK? if not, is Bernard Scott a better play over Beanie Wells? I did some research and OAK gives up more yards (not many more)than StL to RB's...so, good call? Also, when is he going to come back do you think? Thanks!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Miguel: You and many others asking about Cedric. Who would have thought a couple years ago that he would be this critical for fantasy owners? Anyway - everything points to him sitting out. He hasn't practiced, they play Oakland, they want him down the stretch, it allows LJ to possibly get into the game....all that, but he still says he's a gtd. And it's possible if he really looks good that they let him out there. This is one where I would pick up Scott if I were you, watch status updates after today -and Yes, Wells shares with Hightower so I like Scott vs Oak if he goes.

Chris (Bowmanville, ON)

Stephania, Happy Friday!!!!What's your spin on the update over Westbrook?? The doctors in Pittsburgh are encouraged, but that they're re-testing him in 2-3 weeks. I'm assuming that means that Westy isn't going to do anything football-related until after that time - but what else could it signal?? What chances are you giving him that he plays again in 2009??

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Chris: Happy Friday back to you. Yes, I think the re-testing in a couple weeks tells you he won't do anything before then. Other than that, nothing predictive. His symptoms from one day to the next dictate his status, along with his concern, apprehension about returning and collective medical input. Way too hard to give odds here.

Chris (Long Island)

Hey Stephania,What's the deal with Sammy Morris? I Have Maroney on my team and I won't start him unless Morris is out because he will cut into Maroney's carries.

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Chris: I do expect Morris to be active this week after being in practice and doing more. I still think he has a limited role and Maroney does more, but it might affect his touches and I also think they will throw the ball a lot against the Jets.

Rafael (Fresno)

Is Ladell Betts good to go against the cowboys and is he a good start?

Brian (Boston, MA)

Any updates on Reggie Bush? Chances he'll play if he practices today? Chances he'll play if he doesn't practice?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Rafael: Yes, he's good to go - and yes, I think he's a decent start against the Cowboys. You can run on them.

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Brian: I think if Bush practices today his chances obviously go up for playing - since it's an issue with swelling in his surgical knee, there's always the day after practice response that needs to be assessed. In other words, even if he looked decent today, would need to be sure the knee didn't swell back up tomorrow. If he doesn't do anything at all, I would say the chances go way down.

pat (wisconsin)

Love your segment Stephania.How's Jermichael Finley?Can I feel safe and start him this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Pat: Thank you so much. Well, this is the best he's been -practicing fully on back to back days this week. So far it sure looks like a safe start, barring some unforeseen setback before today.

Jay (Philly)

Hi Steph - What is your gut instinct on how long Michael Turner will be out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Jay: And it is a gut instinct without seeing just how bad this high ankle sprain is up close - but I think it's virtually certain he sits out this week, and I would expect the next as well. If it's not that severe could be back Week 3 but still might be limited in mobility, etc. Reportedly he was seen walking without his boot which makes it seem that he's improving. They've played this extremely close to the vest, so we are making some guesses here.

Travis (Iowa)

Julius Jones, how long do you think his injury will keep him out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Travis: It depends on two things. 1) how his lung is healing and feeling (deep breath, cough, etc and no evidence of bleeding) - would expect that is resolved by next week. 2) if there was a cracked rib in the area (something that remains unclear), there will need to be evidence of the bone healing to ensure that there is not a higher risk of severe internal injury - that last part oculd tack on a couple weeks - so my best guess at this point would be 2-3 weeks.

John (Denver)

Stephania, what is going on with Kyle Orton? How serious is his injury, and what can we expect from him if he plays through it? Trying to gauge Marshall's value with injured Orton or Simms...

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

John: Very reasonable question that many want to know. We've heard left ankle sprain and also "torn ligaments" Technically a sprain is a ligament injury, it's just a question of the DEGREE of damage - sounds like it's a Grade 2 or moderate sprain, some tearing but not complete - very hard to gauge timetable b/c there is still a lot of variability. Orton hasn't practiced but may come down to a gtd (I'll be very interested to see if he can move around on it at all). Last year he came back early (from a high ankle sprain on the opposite side) and was not effective. THat might be something they're considering. it could affect his deep throws as he steps up onto the left foot - which would affect Marshall. If Simms plays, I think Marshall's value takes another step down. Not a clear answer - but I'd be watching the status updates closely after today.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

This may be the only question you get today regarding a player for Cleveland but is there anything to worry about with Jamal Lewis? My RBs are thin as it is and I had considered starting him this week? Thank in advance for any information you can provide and to everyone else, I apologize for mentioning the Browns in a football chat.

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

J.B. Always so polite and thoughtful of others - but Jamal Lewis is owned by a number of fantasy owners. With him being limited in practice this week b/c of an ankle and already talking retirement, I think you have to be a little concerned about where his head is. No other option? He is still the starter and I guess you play him if he goes - but I'd be looking for alternatives.

Matt (Chicago)

SB: Out of your wheelhouse question: Have anyone heard anything about the split they're planning in Houston? Slaton anywhere near getting his job back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Matt: Actually we discussed on the podcast today - NO clue from Houston how they want to rotate their backs. It could be that they see who fumbles first and play the other guy more...really, no hints from Houston and it's likely to be a play-the-hot-hand situation.

James (PA)

Favre good to go or still limited?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

James: Oh - he's going. Limited in practice b/c he's 40 and we're more than halfway through the season. He's banged up, but he's playing.

Stugots (Toronto,Canada)

Stephania, my favourite injury expert! I lost Ronnie Brown this week and need to put Boldin back in my lineup as his replacement. Did he suffer any setbacks against the Seahawks or can I continue to count on his increased production?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Stugots: Well thank you...I think Boldin is getting healthier. He certainly isn't going backwards. That bodes for increased productivity going forward.

Dwight Schrute (Scranton, PA)

Does Polamalu Play? Can't find much on him, I am in a deep league and have to use either Charles or Greene, Greene has been useless since his huge week, and I could see Charles being ok if Polamalu sits but if he plays, no thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

How's life in the office? Polamalu is not expected to play this week - and while it sounds as if he escaped a major setback with his knee, it could be a couple weeks.

Josh (Bored, Law School)

Miss Bell - I've had Anthony Gonzales in my IR slot for the entire season (keeper league). I know you dropped him weeks ago, but I haven't needed my IR slot till now. Any chance he'll be back for FF playoffs? Does this year kill his keeper value (see Glenn, Terry)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Josh: Hope you're not bored now that you're here! Sure, there's a chance - but that's been the case all along. He continues to say he's "close" to a return but doesn't he have to? I mean as a means of keeping his spirits up? And motivating for rehab? I think the hope is that he can return to practice within a couple weeks - then hopefully return to game play - but that's a lot of wasted weeks and unknown future on your bench.

Steve (Texas)

Is Greg Jennings knee bruise going to affect him? Would you rather play him or Roddy White this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Steve: Don't think so as he's not been on the injury report at all this week. Clearly Roddy White's knee not 100% but he's played each week and I expect him to play again. Jennings has been underutilized by Green Bay so this is a tough call. PRobably go with White as he's at least Ryan's top receiver.

Barry (Bethesda, MD)

What's wrong these days with Kevin Smith? Broken ego, bad team, bad body parts, or all of the above?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Barry: I think you nailed it and there's nothing left for me to say.

Matt (Chinatown)

Ricky Williams was spectacular yesterday, but at the end of the game, Hilliard was getting all of the snaps, and I read on NFL Nation that Ricky was talking to a trainer. Any word on him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Matt: Nothing official. He probably needed some attention after the work he put in last night. I would not read anything into it yet and they have some time before their next game.

Mike (Boston)

I heard Ronnie Brown is having his surgery. What is his status going into next year? I have Ricky and he would be a late round keeper so I am trying to plan ahead a little. GO NINERS (ok maybe just Gore)

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Mike: There is reason to believe that Ronnie will be ready to go at the start of the year, barring any surprises. This is a lengthy rehab, and often requires a second surgery for hardware removal down the line, so there are a number of hurdles to cross. But he's young, he came back strong from his ACL surgery (and he knows what a lengthy rehab is like) - I would be encouraged.

Brad (Chicago)

What is the status of Jerious Norwood and how does that affect Jason Snelling?

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Brad: Norwood returned to practice Thursday but only on a limited basis. and he's been out for 4 games so there's a way to go to truly be game ready. If he is active I don't expect him to get a ton of work. Snelling would be the starter with Turner out and the team has been preparing all week with that mindset.

Cindy (Denver)

Go 49ers!!! (did I just resort to that to get your attention? sorry)Thoughts on Hasselbeck rest of year? Is he healed? Is he worth trading for If I have Orton and Garrard? (Not in playoffs yet)

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Cindy: That's funny - b/c I actually was going to answer your question next (the one without the 49ers love) - but since you threw that in, I'm posting this one...Hasselbeck is certainly better than he's been. I'm always reluctant to say "fully healed" when we get to Week 11 b/c no one is truly 100% - but he says he's the best he's been all season and it does appear that way. I might trade for him - he's got a handful of good matchups (not necessarily this week vs Vikings) but then Rams, 49ers may be tough, but he's got Tampa Bay in there...I would do it.

Scott (Green Bay, WI)

Starphania, love you on the podcasts with Matthew and Nate. I am trying to gauge Jacobs value for the weekend, any word on Bradshaw? And go Packers vs your 49ers (sorry)!

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Scott: It's natural for you to root for Green Bay after all, so I won't hold it against you. Although I do like my defense's chances of a few sacks...Bradshaw is status quo -limited practice during the week, expected to play. Both Jacobs and Bradshaw could have a big day vs Atlanta.

jc (raleigh)

What's Todd Heap's status? Will he play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

JC; After not practicing b/c of a chest injury sustained last week, he's likely questionable at best. We won't know until what we see today, but word over at the Ravens is that they're still optimistic that he does play.

Jay (Philly)

Any news on Winslow's knew injury that all of a sudden popped up?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Jay: Sounds as if it's soreness in his already banged up knees. He was back in full practice Thursday and is expected to play.

Phil (New Orleans)

What does it take to get a question answered? I've been on all the chats since Tuesday, can't get an answer. If Benson is out, who should I play: K.Waler, B.Berian, J.Charles, Or pick up Farga, M.Bush, S.Moss?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Phil: Not complaining for starters -although I suppose by answering I'm defying that logic. But I'm trying to give you points for being persistent. There are over 1,000 posts - so it's nothing personal, just keep trying. And you need to spell your players' names right.OK - that aside, I like Fargas. Too long to explain vs everyone - but Berrian not fully healthy with the hanstring and with Rice being the main target, don't like him, charles faces Pitt D, and Fargas should be the starter.

Mark (KC)

Stephania, you type just like you speak on the podcasts, I can almost "hear" your voice, thanks so much for these update chats. Question on the Philly defense. Is the secondary banged up, like some say, or strong like others say. Why doesn't ESPN provide more updates on defenses (as a whole)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Mark: Thanks for "lsitening." I think there are some injury issues - but not terribly serious. They are licking their chops at facing the INT-prone Cutler and I think this is a big day for the Philly D. As far as lack of coverage, can't totally speak to that, but in fantasy everything's about priority and the most volume of questions we get is related to skill position guys...

Earl (Earlton)

Hi Steph, any news on Cooley's possible return?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Earl (and others interested in Colley): He has a follow-up medical appt Monday - that's when we'll get an update.

Eric (Chicago)

We need to get the Whambulance for Phil! Steph - Deep, deep league...Desmond Clark, go or no go?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Eric: funny. Clark has not yet practiced and it does not look good for Sunday.

Chris (Pittsburgh)

Sadly, you might need a disclaimer at the top of every chat: we get a ton of questions, stop taking it so friggin' personally if yours doesn't get answered. Good grief! You're a saint for putting up with it all.

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Chris -Love ya - don't change...

Scott (Pierre)

Please spell your players name right.(Colley)

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Humor people - humor.

Bryce (Charleston, SC)

Stephania, I know on Sunday you guys (and gals) are great about updating who's active and who isn't, but is there a place to find out the same info for the Thursday night games?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Bryce: You are asking a great question that I don't know the answer to - but I will inquire.

Pierre Garcon (Indy)

Am I good to go this week, with the ankle problem I had earlier? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Pierre: You know better than me. But you told me yesterday that you were fine...

bill (jackson mi)

did we get the big W with the ginger bread roller coster yet? would you start hightower or snelling in flex

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Bill: No word on what the final ginger-gate status is. But I did like the coaster...Boy, that's tough b/c Hightower has been consistently putting up some decent flex numbers. And after all, they are facing the Rams. I take Hightower.

Mike (Boston)

Hello Stephania: Any update on Caddy's injury? Also, Crabtree has popped up on the injury report - anything to be concerned about there?

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Mike: Caddy and Crabtree are fine.

Stephania Bell
  (12:05 PM)

Thanks for coming everyone - time for me to leave. Have a great weekend and good luck in Week 11! See you back Sunday morning - chat at 10, Fantasy Football Now at 11:30.