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December 1, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation and welcome to the Tuesday injury chat. Wow - a lot going on in the injury world. Lots of concussion talk this week and as someone who wants to see these injuries get taken seriously, I'm glad the dialogue is taking place. Nonetheless, my fantasy team is suffering too. So let's commiserate...

Nick (Baltimore)

What's the word on Big Ben, will he be back to play against Oakland?

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Nick: Since I mentioned concussions, let's start with one that got everybody talking. Unfortunately Nick as you saw this week, status related to concussions can change on a dime. While Mike Tomlin has said that he's optimistic, he reiterates that it is a daily assessment and Ben will need to be symptom free with exercise before they will put him out there, no matter who the opponent is.

mike (portland, or)

I didnt see the game, what happened to Turner, do you think he came back too soon? I think this is a retorical question, but do you think he plays this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Mike: He got caught up in a pile and while it was difficult to see the exact position of his ankle, there is no doubt that it got twisted again in a way that caused him pain. I was surprised that he was playing, granted I'm not there to closely examine his ankle - but putting all the pieces together it did seem soon. Perhaps with still healing ligaments it was easier for them to be re-injured. While no one has ruled Turner out, I think he'll have to show that he's farther along before they put him back out - and if I had to guess now I'd say he sits.

Mike S (CT)

Stephania, do you see Brian Westbrook having any value the rest of the way? He's currently holding a roster spot that could be otherwise utilized if he won't be back for the fantasy playoffs.

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Mike: Hold on a little longer. Westbrook is visiting the folks in Pittsburgh again this week for re-evaluation and we should get some inclination as to what the next steps are with him. I'm not yet convinced that his season is over, but if he continues to show evidence that his cognitive function is not back to normal, then I think it would be more likely that he would not return.

Jeff (Portland, ME)

Stephania, I am losing players left and right. Can you shed any light on Deshaun Jackson's concussion? Do you think he plays this Sunday? Seems like the Eagles will probably be overprotective with their wideout due to Westbrook's head issues.

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Jeff: Following the Westbrook post, I think Jackson will be treated the same - with caution. There's no way to know what his status is yet. The first cognitive tests are done in the first couple of days and they have to wait for symptom recovery. So we may not know until it gets closer to Sunday. I don't think "overprotective" is the right word - the teams are just now getting properly protective.

Paolo (Milan, Italy)

Hi Stephania,in Italy Fantasy Football is already a big deal, thanks guys for making it such a fun experience.I just clinched a playoffs spot, but lost Matt Ryan...shall I drop him? will he be back by week 15?Thanks,best regardsPaolo

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Paolo: Wow - happy to hear that fantasy football is big in Milan. Maybe I'll have to travel there for work (?)I am hearing now that this may be a very serious injury for Matt Ryan and that he may be paying a visit to Dr. Bob Anderson (foot and ankle specialist who did Ronnie Brown's surgery) to evaluate the condition. While we don't know yet, it sounds like there is at least the possibility that it is season-ending.

Carl (Tampa)

Please tell me Mora is not an idiot and is going to allow Forsett to continue to be the starting RB for SEA even if Jones comes back this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Carl: While I can't tell you what Mora's move will actually be, I will tell you that Mora continues to maintain that Jones is the starting back when healthy. Maybe that means that he won't be back though until he is REALLY healthy. He was still having a lot of pain last week and I would say is not a lock for this week.

Chris (Boston)

Stephania, big fan. Sucking up gets me picked, right? Just kidding. Really am a big fan. Anyway, I'm sick of Calvin Johnson hurting my team. Granted, I am in first place and have clinched my playoff spot, but come on. Can I trust him in the postseason? When will be he 100%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Chris: Of course sucking up gets you picked, I'm not gonna lie...Just kidding....maybe.I'm not sure about Johnson. I think he's not quite 100% (as we saw in the last game)but he's serviceable, meaning he'll make plays intermittently and the longer break this week should help. Part of the issue I believe is also that his QB has been less than 100%- so that affects his productivity. But if you're in first he can't be hurting you that badly...

Mike (Palm Springs CA)

Its my BDAY and I would like a answer for my present. Celek is he ok? What TE would you pick up Scaife, Scheffler, or Fred Davis for the rest of the year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Mike: I hope you're telling me the truth...honor system. And Happy Birthday!Celek has a sprained thumb but it appears that it is not a surgical situation and it also appears that he is expected to keep right on playing. So I'm not sure if you pick up another tight end. But I would probably go with Fred Davis given that Chris Cooley is going on IR.

Joe (New York)

How bad is Matt Ryan's toe.....should i hold onto him or drop him all together?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Joe: This is a follow-up to my earlier post. Apparently Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting that Ryan is back from Charlotte and all that coach Mike Smith will say is that the medical staff is going to work diligently to get him back as fast as they can and that there will be an update next week. I think it's a good sign that he did not stay in Charlotte to have surgery. While no guarantees he makes it back, sounds like they're optimistic that he can.

Willy (Mtl)

What's up with DWill? He did come back in and play, do you think he's fine this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Willy: He sprained his left ankle and was listed on team injury report Monday. Sounds like the team will limit him in practice but they do expect him to play. Worth keeping an eye on as it could mean more touches for Stewart (remember the week after Williams hurt his knee was Stewart's biggest) but probably not a huge change.

Mike (New York, NY)

I'm concerned about Warner, because that he had a stiff neck and that strange feeling in his eyes a week after the concussion and after saying that he felt good. Is this delayed reaction a sign of a bad concussion, or is it just that some people manifest symptoms differently than others?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Mike: Actually when you hear what Warner described in detail, his symptoms never really were completely gone - but they were coming and going, not unusual for concussion-related issues. Also, the sensitivity to light that he described is often a symptom associated with concussion. I think part of the visit to the eye doctor is to see if they can clarify whether there is anything related to the eyes themselves, or whether this is all related to the head/neck injury. And yes, people do manifest different symptoms. Even one person, with two different concussions, can have very different symptoms each time - which is part of what makes managing these with one set of guidelines so difficult.

Chase (In Class)

Steven Jackson?you know the drill

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Chase: I hope you're paying attention in class. We support education. SJax still puts up solid numbers, even when he doesn't feel 100 percent. The fact that he played through it last week tells me he'll go again this week.

Christopher (Dallas)

Stephania, I own Benson and picked up Scott for this past week. Is it safe to drop Scott in favor of another more productive RB now, given 1) Benson looks to be coming back, 2) Johnson got a lot of reps and was productive, and 3) Scott might be injured? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Christopher: Yes - for all of those reasons. We have already heard that Benson is starting this week so we know that is happening. Scott did suffer a turf toe injury and as a result will not likely be 100 percent this week. His role may be diminished then going forward.

Jeff (SF)

Piggybacking on Eagles/Jackson -if he's out, who would you rather have - Maclin or Avant?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Jeff: Maclin I think is the one with more upside.

Chris (Philly)

Mike Sims-Walker... is his knee still limiting him at all, or was the off-game last week due to other factors? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Chris: I think it was a collection of factors, including the numerous Garrard sacks. Sources tell me it's not that serious.

Kentin (Los Angeles, CA)

Hola Stephania. 9er fan here! Unfortunately I have Big Ben and Kurt Warner. So, I picked up Alex Smith from our beloved 49ers and he did good. Should I stick with him vs SEA or will Warner shake off the concussion symptoms in time for MIN?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Kentin: I think Smith's good game went a long way towards the entire team's confidence and they're fighting for a playoff spot so they head into Seattle hungry. No way to predict what Warner's status will be, just no way. I would plan on Smith - the VIkings will be a tough matchup anyway.

Greg (Houston)

Stephania... Is Snelling a good play this week with Michael Turner likely out again?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Greg: Thanks for your post...It's unclear how they divide the work with Snelling and Norwood IF Turner is out, which they won't commit to just yet... Very messy backfield situation in Atlanta and I'm not sure I'd want any part of it right now.

Bob (Virginia)

What is the deal with Reggie Bush. As a Pierre Thomas owner I need to know going forward what to expect from the saints backfield

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Bob: Trying to find that out as we speak. THere was some early optimism that Bush would be able to go Monday night - and he had a little extra time to recover after sitting out Week 11. Maybe he had some swelling that was lingering. I think the Saints know that they have a plethora of weapons and clearly they are looking towards the playoff future. I can understand that they want to take no chances on him worsening now when they can hope to have him down the line. So that doesn't necessarily help for next week - but he's one where we just have to see what he's doing this week to see if he can be ready to go.

Mike (MA)

Any updates on Anthony Gonzalez..yes there are some of us stupid enough to hold onto him all year. Any hope for him to give me anything remotely close to production in a PPR league down the stretch?

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Mike: Just for your honesty, I had to post. Really, I'm not sure why you held onto him but I admire your loyalty. The Colts obviously think he can get back or they would have put him on IR. That said, I think they have stopped putting a timetable on it. I really don't think there's much hope for contribution from a fantasy perspective b/c even if he gets back, they will most certainly ease him into play, perhaps with the hope of having him in the playoffs. So no - to answer your question - I don't think he gives you much hope.

Ric (NYC)

Hey Stephania, Love your chats!! My rb situation is hurting bad and I really need to know what your thoughts are on Bradshaw?? Besides him I only have Michael Bush, Westbrook (ughhh) and Fred Jackson. Will Bradshaw be able to go this week or should I try and make a move for someone like Tashard Choice or Willis McGahee? Thanks!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Ric: Thanks for coming. No word from the Giants yet and that's b/c it's so early in the week. Knowing that he has two bad feet, and that it's normal for him to sit out at least Wednesday, you probably won't get a clue until very, very late. So I would try to pick up a Tashard Choice type just so you're not stuck...

Jason (FL)

Eli's foot is in the news again, but not the plantar fasciitis this time. Can you elaborate on what Eli is experiencing now and how it might affect his mechanics going forward?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Jason: He has a stress reaction (on imaging there is stress in the bone, can be a precursor to a stress fracture if it progresses) in one of his midfoot bones (the cuboid), quite possible as a result of altering his mechanics in his foot to decrease stress on the plantar fascia. Now the thing is that Manning says this is not new, so he's been dealing with it for a while. So I don't think it immediately threatens his status. But it probably accounts for some of his poor play, despite his denials. He's simply not 100 percent. I don't necessarily see him worsening, but I do see it as an ongoing challenge for the season.

Smoke (WA)

Consussion one more time... Any news on Portis?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Smoke: Just that he's already out for Week 13.

Your Biggest Fan (PA)

Any word on Hightower. I have Wells and thought of Timmy out for awhile gives me goosebumps

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Hightower has what they're calling a minor thumb injury - doesn't sound as if they expect him to miss any time.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Probably too late but what was the mystery surrounding AP this weekend? He didn't look quite right out there. Thanks in advance and I saw the FF show on ESPN for the first time this Sunday. It was EXCELLENT.

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

J.B. Well thanks for watching!! And AP had an "illness" - reportedly some version of the flu heading into the game - so he wasn't quite himself. Still excellent though...

Joe (Bronx, NY)

Quck non injury question for the SF gal... SF D goes hot and cold. Are they worth a pickup this week against Seattle?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

YES!!

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Thanks everyone for coming! Have a great day - and keep an eye on the health of your players this week. I will update in my blogs today, Thursday and Saturday - and we'll be chatting again on Friday. See you then!!