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September 28, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:05 PM)

Good afternoon everyone - How is it possible that I still have this cold? Am I that stressed over my 49ers fall to the cellar? At least I beat the TMR by two points in our weekend fantasy matchup. Now there's a reason to smile....How's Sports Nation?

JR (LA)

whats the news on knowshon moreno, will he be out for sundays game?

Stephania Bell
  (3:06 PM)

JR: No updates yet on him - prob not til Weds -But we had already heard he was expected to miss 2 weeks so safe to assume he's out this week.

Thad Wingo (South Carolina)

Very worried about Ray Rice and his knee...quick heal...long term problem...lingering type injury??? Need you expert advice:)

Stephania Bell
  (3:08 PM)

Thad: Mainly a question of how quickly swelling decreases and bruising subsides so that muscles (and most notably quad) can function effectively and he's not at risk from another direct blow. No way to say for sure that he's in or out by Sunday for that reason. But don't be surprised if he's out. That said, should not be long-term thing and he says he's already feeling better.

Jimbo (Charlotte, NC)

Stephie Bad News, what is the deal with Andre Johnson's ankle? Is this something that will nag him all year? I am thinking about acquiring him in a trade, but is he damaged goods at this point. Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:09 PM)

Jimbo: I'm not worried (yet) about how this plays out over the year. He doesn't have time for it to fully heal - and it could bother him intermittently - but unless there's a drastic turn for the worse, I don't expect this to severely limit his seasonal value.

Jay (Toronto)

Whats the word on Andre Johnson. will he play next week?

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Jay: So as far as THIS week goes, Johnson already indicating he expects to play but Kubiak sounding a little more cautious, reminding everyone there is a whole season to consider. Probably depends how it responds to work over the week, but he's going to Oakland. Touch matchup there.

Ryan (GA)

whats the latest on steven jackson???

Stephania Bell
  (3:13 PM)

Ryan: SJax has a groin strain, sounds as if he escaped with a relatively mild one and MRI showed nothing major. Lucky for him considering how he was being pulled apart on that play. But it's not clear yet whether he'll play on Sunday. Team not wanting this to be a long-term thing. Will likely depend on how much he can do this week.

Chris (Nashville)

I got hit hard with injuries this week, as I have Javhid Best, Steven Jackson, and Andre Johnson on my team. All the coaches are saying the right things but I am not taking any comfort in that. Which of these three guys do you think is least likely to play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (3:14 PM)

Chris: Bummer for your team. We talked about the other two, but I think Best -with the turf toe injury - is the least likely of the 3 to play. Recognize it's early in the week to be predicting this, but as of now, that's my pick.

Norman (NY)

Still think the 49ers and Chargers are gonna make the Super Bowl?

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Norman: My pick looking especially brilliant right now...

Neal (SLC,UT)

Hey Stephania, missed you on Friday, hope you are feeling better! Quick question, I have S. Jax and Mathews. Are their injuries something I should be concerned about, maybe try to move Fitz to get depth at position other RBs are Hillis and Greene, thenks in advance!!

Stephania Bell
  (3:17 PM)

Neal: Why thank you - apologies to everyone about Friday - trying to turn the health corner myself. Mathews is improving and had a good workout Monday. Does not sound like there are big worries with him. Sjax might miss a week, but at least so far, does not sound like should be more. My least favorite is Greene - that's who I'd move. He hasn't been impressive and LT just might take over his carries.

Ilias (Philly)

Steffy Bad News,Is Witten going to play this week, if not Bennett a good pick on the waiver wire??

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Ilias: Witten won't play this week - but it's because they're on bye. He reportedly sprained his MCL but it didn't seem to be a huge factor in his game. He and Wade Philips did not seem that concerned and with the bye week, it sounds like it should be enough to get him back for Week 5.

Miles (Iowa)

I'm sure you're getting a lot of this question, but what is Jahvid Best's status and are any of the Detroit backups worth picking up for this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (3:22 PM)

Miles: So Best has Grade II turf toe injury which is a decent sprain of the ligaments that support the big toe where it attaches to the foot. This is a big problem for a RB and it's why I don't see him playing this week. Kevin Smith - who was last year's starter but ended the season with an ACL injury - is expected to return to the team this week after struggling in the preseason. Apparently he's made quite a bit of progress. BUT - they have to play Green Bay so I don't trust whoever plays.

Jerry (Charlotte)

Sorry about your sniffles Ms. Bad News. Congrats on schooling Mr. Berry this week! Bye week blues for me at RB. What's the latest on Fred Taylor.

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

Jerry: Thank you - I am drinking hot tea while we chat. And thanks for the congrats. Always fun to beat Mr. Berry. Taylor is a bit of an unknown right now. Have to believe the toe is going to be a problem since he came out of the game (and I got shafted too by that) after saying the toe wasn't a big deal. No vote of confidence by me until I see him back and running full speed.

josh (va)

Have you heard anything about Shiancoe's hammy?...Good to go after the bye week or a problem?

Stephania Bell
  (3:27 PM)

Josh: Just that it was his hamstring. Shiancoe said he "tweaked it" but the team doesn't have to report on anything now since they're on a bye week -which means we will know nothing until we see what he's doing in practice next week. Since he jogged off after the injury, I'm thinking it's not awful...but you know the rule, need to see him test it before we can be totally confident.

Wendy (Seattle)

Time to trade Garcon for Louis Murphy? What do you think about Garcon's health going forward? thanks-

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Wendy: If you can make that trade I would. Reason being Murphy is healthy and contributing right now. Garcon has a hamstring injury which I suspect is a continuation of something he had in the preseason. No way of knowing how long he's out. Would always rather have someone in my lineup who's producing.

Steve (Boston)

Stephania, I have Hightower. Do you see Beanie staying healthy all season. I was going to drop Tim H.

Stephania Bell
  (3:31 PM)

Steve: I would not drop Hightower. I think Wells showed that he has recovered pretty nicely from his knee surgery and I'm not worried about this problem recurring per se. But Wells has a pretty lengthy injury history and is routinely getting banged up. I would not be dumping his insurance this quickly.

Jason (Birmingham)

Any word on Pierre Thomas? He looked to have avoided major injury but had quite a scare at the end of the Falcons game.

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Jason: I thought for sure he had a high ankle injury. In fact, watching the medical team look at him it seemed to me that's what they were testing for. But then he was back in the game! No official word that he has suffered a specific injury - will be interesting to see what he does in practice. As I always say though, if a guy goes back in the game after something like that, it's a pretty good sign.

Michael (Madison)

Do you sit in the war room on Sundays? If so, what is it like in there?

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

I do - and it is LOUD. Always entertaining, always interesting, never a dull moment. And I can watch every single game at once which is the best...

Jack (Boston)

Picked up Torain in 2 leagues. Do you see Portis slowing down later in the season. I think he looks like he is playing on sheer determination.

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Jack: Portis is a guy who will play through just about anything (except when the concussion understandably sidelined him last year). But I like Torain as insurance. Shanahan likes him from the Denver days and I think he will see some regular playing time, more if something were to happen to Portis. So keep him handy.

Tank (brooklyn)

any updates on matt stafford?

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

Tank: Beginning light throwing this week. Still sounds a couple of weeks away from returning at least to me.

Tim (Pittsburgh)

Whats the latest on Mike Williams (Sea)? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Tim: The team really hasn't said much. Although pete Carroll did say Monday that Williams was awfully sore. Sounded a bit hesitant to me - as in whether he'd be available for this week.

Drew (New Orleans)

Hi Stephania, So why the confusion over Mathews ankle sprain? They say it was high ankle sprian (which I've heard usually means 4-6 weeks.. certainly not one!), Now he is practicing? Was it misdiagnosed? Is SD joing the bandwagon with the deception trend?

Stephania Bell
  (3:45 PM)

Drew: I like your question. I wish it was easy to answer but I think there are several factors. First, the first report that it was a high ankle sprain came from Mathews. The follow-up saying it wasn't...came from Mathews. Now WHY he was apparently confused about what he had is unknown - and then I heard that it was higher up the ankle but not a high ankle.. See what I have to deal with? Information not always clear. Sometimes when players offer up info, not always accurate (it's also inaccurate many times when it comes from other personnel) so always take with a grain of salt.That said, even a high ankle sprain can be a very low grade minor one - and then might only require a couple of weeks to return. It's just that while you can tape/brace a lateral ankle sprain pretty well, it's a lot harder to protect the high ankle sprain and the consequences of a bad injury here are more severe so there's a lot more concern around it.I certainly would never suggest any misdiagnosis because we do not know what the medical staff found, etc or how they labeled it.

Mike (Denver)

Hello Ms. good news-Any word on beanie tweaking his surgically repaired knee during the game? hope its false..

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Mike: I have not heard that. If anything I think Wells will see increased action. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic has the pulse of that team and he indicates that while Wells is not expected to start, he is expected to get more touches.

Nick (Chicago)

Stephania, is Percy harvin's hip issue behind him for good after the bye week? Also, Demaryius Thomas, any updates?

Stephania Bell
  (3:48 PM)

Nick: Don't know if it's totally behind him - but he was certainly better this past week and now they have the bye. So that's good heading into Week 5. As for Thomas, turns out he had some tingling in the forearm but it cleared up, no major injury. Should be fine for this week.

Kyle (Philadelphia)

Hi Stephania, what about Justin Forsett's injury? All I've seen on ESPN is that he didn't "miss many snaps." Something to worry about?

Stephania Bell
  (3:50 PM)

Kyle: I think that's the key - he didn't miss much action. No official injury report on him so I can't imagine it's anything too serious.

Phil (just jumped off the 49ers badwagon)

So given Rice's boo boo and his match up vs. Pit, you would start Ronnie Brown over him vs. NE?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

Phil: now - even as disheartening as their performance has been, you can't quit on the Niners...yet. After all, it is the NFC West. Everyone still has a chance. Moving along, yes, I would start Brown vs NE.

Ben (arkansas)

Is michael jenkins going to play this week, finally?

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Ben: This might be the week. He actually picked it up quite a bit in practice this past week and there was an outside chance that he played. Another good week and he could be in the mix - but he's not going to steal a lot from Ryan's favorite target (White).

Rob Kelley (Hingham, MA)

Should I continue to hold on to Sidney Rice? Still out a minimum of 8 weeks, or has anything improved?

Stephania Bell
  (3:56 PM)

Rob: That timetable will not improve - it might lengthen, but it won't improve. He has to be out for 6 b/c of PUP and he was not going to be allowed any football activities for 8 weeks (if you time surgery and then season, 6 weeks into season will be about 8 weeks post-op). Then he has to get into football shape and you can bet they want him healthy and ready to absorb full contact, do everything necessary before putting him out there. He's off crutches and doing more now, but until he's running, we really won't be able to start making specific projections.

Kirk (Dallas)

Why does ESPN do injury chats on Tuesday? I respect your expertise, but it seems like it would make more sense to do this on Thursday or Friday after you have seen some practice reports or other additional information. Just my $.02

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Kirk: People have asked for twice a week. We tell what we know - and at least there are some strong hints - like Best being a big concern - which might lead people to waiver wire activity as insurance - and that has to happen before Friday. On Friday we can then give a better report of how things are actually shaping up for games.

DD (TX)

Just saw posted on twitter via ESPN that Dez Bryant has a stress fracture in his ribs. Have you heard anything about that?

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

DD: Have not seen yet - but remember he was dealing with a rib injury so this would not be a total surprise. If true, doesn't mean he couldn't play but would warrant extra protection.

Lindsey (SC)

Leon Washington seems to have any injury issues behind him....expect an increase in offensive touches moving forward?

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Lindsey: Wouldn't be surprised. Thrilled for him coming back from such a devastating injury. Think he continues to return kicks but may also serve as change of pace back.

Joe (NYC)

Will we see Revis this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (4:00 PM)

Joe: I don't expect so, no matter how hopeful Rex Ryan is. He didn't even make the last trip, they can't afford a long-term setback, and they're good enough to cover Buffalo without him.

Drew (New Orleans)

Thanks so much for your response on Mathews, I know that was a challenge! I'm still hazy on the NFL guidelines for injured players. Do teams discuss injury detail (why their team member is out) merely to please the hometown crowd? The NFL only mandates that they provide an injury report with an outlook (probable, questionable, doubtful, etc.)? Are teams held accountable on this? Triple Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (4:03 PM)

Drew: No problem - I think it's helpful for people to know why there is sometimes conflicting info out there. Teams only have to provide what NFL asks for - and some teams (Patriots notably, Colts) adhere to that. Others try to be more cooperative with the media - which is always appreciated - but can, in some cases, lead to confusion if misinformation goes out. That is the challenge. Really comes down to team philosophy.

Stephania Bell
  (4:04 PM)

Thanks everyone for coming to the chat today...I won't be here Friday,(speaking at a conference in San Diego) - but the blogs will continue Thurs, Sat. Chat from 10-10:30 a.m. Sunday and then FFNow on Sunday, 11:30-1:00 EST. Have a great week!