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November 30, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:03 PM)

It's a sad Tuesday for me and all Niner fans - and Gore fantasy owners. While we should be celebrating a big win, instead we mourn the season-ending injury to Frank Gore, who basically provided most of our offense. Ahhhhhhhhhh, sigh. Time for a pick-me-up. That's where you all come in. Tell me something good...

Rachel (Hattiesburg)

Hi Stephania! What's the deal with Z Miller? I thought he was getting better and now it sounds if it's worse? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:05 PM)

Hi Rachel: Well, I think we just finally heard the extent of his original injury. Now we understand he actually tore his plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue under the arch. Similar to Gates injury. No wonder so painful. Then he gets a big contusion (they actually worried that he broke his leg - he didn't) on his lower leg. Just not going to be his normal self for a while. I'd be looking elsewhere.

Mark R. (Cincy)

Hello Stephania, Congrats on a SanFrancisco win last night. I use to line in SanFrancisco myself years ago near the Diamond Heights area. Love the city and became a Niners fan. Any word on Austin Collie for this week? Thanks for all your great help!!!

Stephania Bell
  (3:08 PM)

Mark: Well thanks for the SF love...No word on Collie yet. I find it interesting they took him out of consideration so early last week. We won't know until first big practice day (Weds) whether he's even been cleared to return to that. Have to say that given a recurrence of concussion symptoms my guess is they play it very conservative. He might need a full week of feeling completely normal before they let him return.

Frank (Chicago)

Stephania, What is the latest on AP? Is it looking like Gerhart is going to get a start or 2? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:09 PM)

Frank: The good news is nothing is broken. The bad news is that that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be fine for Sunday. Vikings taking it day-by-day with the hope he'll be able to jog on it Weds, then they'll want to see how it feels the next day - if OK, they increase the work, etc. Will be gradual progression and even then may be gtd. Best bet is to have Gerhart on standby.

Ben (Missouri)

What is the early outlook on Mike Williams (Sea) this week.

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Ben: Not fantastic. Local media reporting that when team MDs took a look at him they didn't see a whole lot of improvement. That said, he has done some running but - he can't cut. Carroll has said that they will play him even if he doesn't practice - but if he stays in the boot all week, I'd think he's out.

Jon (Des Moines)

Would it appear that the Jennings foot sprain is minor since he was on the field for the last offensive play for GB on Sunday? It's always a little shocking to find these surprise listings the next day when it appears "any" player was injured and we didn't see it on game day.

Stephania Bell
  (3:13 PM)

Jon: It would - for exactly that reason. But I've also seen foot and ankle injuries that guys were able to play through -and then once the tape comes off, swelling blows up and the next day it's far worse (Pierre Thomas comes to mind and look how long he's been out). Jennings was expected to miss practice time - so we probably won't have much clue until late in the week to see if he can run.

J.B. (PA)

I think everyone should tell you something good before asking you a question today. My something good: Westbrook looked like he didn't miss a beat. My question - Do you think Garrard plays this week despite the wrist sprain? Thanks Ms. Bell and remember, it could be worse. You could actually be Frank Gore.

Stephania Bell
  (3:16 PM)

J.B. Actually made me smile!! And yes, Westbrook looked like the old (not banged up) Westbrook. There's some value to all that down time. As far as Garrard, he says he'll be ready. He admits to being worried when it happened. Judging from the look on his face at the time, it sure looked like it could have been serious. But he says it felt better Monday, negative X-ray and MRI, and he plans to go.Unlike poor Frank, who will have to sit and watch this weekend.

CJ2K (Nashville, TN)

Hey Stephania! When is Kerry Collins coming back? Rusty was a bit, well... rusty, and he killed by value.

Stephania Bell
  (3:16 PM)

Looks like to the relief of many, Collins is on track to return this weekend.

Wendy (Seattle)

Hi Stephania, thanks for your help this year, I have round 1 bye in the playoffs. Can you rank for me the following guys in terms of their likelihood to produce (based on their injuries) in weeks 14-16: Best, V. Jackson, A. Collie? I need to drop at least one of them.

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Wendy: Thank you for the nice comment - and congrats on a bye. It's not even close for me - I get rid of Best. He has not been right, worse lately as far as his toes. Jackson and Collie are at least more likely to be productive when they return - but I would still be keeping my eye open for good insurance.

Mike (Hurtin in Dan Siego)

What do you think of Malcolm Floyd's health? Counting on him to be tops in SD with VJAX still out.

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Mike: Floyd came through the game relatively unscathed. Since he tweaked the hamstring last Monday there was concern as to whether he could even play - but he improved late in the week and was on the field. granted, he didn't do a lot, but that's probably a good thing because it wasn't particularly taxing. Im not sure it's all in his past, but sounds like he's no worse and hopefully gets better this week.

David (9er land)

Am I crazy for wanting Dixon over Toby due to Westbrooks glass body

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

David: Not crazy. There is difference of opinion at our workplace as well. I think what you saw last night is the 49ers game plan - which means to me that Westbrook will have more opportunity. Dixon will still score- he did last night - and sure, Westbrook is an injury risk - but he's only got to work for 5 weeks, so I would be going Westbrook.

Eric (PA)

What is the status of Ryan Mathews?????

Stephania Bell
  (3:26 PM)

Eric: First time in a while the Chargers are saying he has a chance to play. Now that's just a chance. We still need to see him do something in practice this week to really feel confident - and even then, we have to see how the team is willing to use him. Something tells me that they are not likely to give him a full load of work when he first returns.

Erich (Charlotte)

What is the latest on Mike Hart? Will he be back in the starting role for the Colts?

Stephania Bell
  (3:28 PM)

Erich: Remains to be seen. he was active last week so we know he's better than he was the previous two. But not sure they'll be automatically inserting him over Brown. He needs to be fully practicing before we're even confident he plays. ANd that might not mean starts.

Eric E. (Miami)

Gates was clearly running around at less than 100 percent out there last game. Is this something that with 3 weeks already as a scratch, we can see him getting back to old form by oh i dunno, Weeks 14-16 (wink!)

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Eric: If only we could guarantee it...the best news from Sunday night's game was that he felt "better than anticipated" afterward. He's not going to be 100% for a while - but he still made some big plays. As long as he's not going backwards, I have to assume he'll be more involved in the offense going forward, but that doesn't mean he'll be feeling great before the season is over.

Chuck (NJ)

I'm a Bengals fan. Feel better? Any update on whether Dreessen plays Thursday?

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

Chuck: Um, no. But thanks for trying. I think Dreessen will be the guy again Thursday, especially given that Kubiak has come out and said that Daniels will be back in Week 14. Still will believe that when I see it - but targeting next week means not this week.

david (the beach)

whats up with brandon marshall?

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

david: He says "there's always a chance" he could come back this week. not exactly a ringing vote of confidence...doesn't make me think it's very likely. We won't get any practice info until after Weds.

Steve (San Bruno)

Stephania, what's the status with Hakeem Nicks and Pierre Thomas? Some say Nicks may not return until week 16? Our either worth dropping? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Steve: Thomas continues to be a daily assessment. No indication as for this week - but he did do more in last week's practice - so there's optimism that he makes a return in the next couple of weeks. Nicks is totally dependent on the healing progression and he's no lock for a specific week as of right now - but I'm still holding onto him b/c I think he can have a big impact quickly. I'm not sure I hold Thomas if there's a better option b/c I think he'll be brought along slowly.

Brad (Texas)

Safe to start Kenny Britt this week or am I barking up the wrong Ten WR?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Brad: I doubt it's safe to plan on him. So far he's only done running on the side, no return to practice. We'll see if he does this week. Even so, would not be surprised if his return takes longer. After all, this was a serious hamstring injury and why rush only to have a setback? We've already seen how hard it has been for other wide receivers to return from hamstring strains. I would not be planning on him in Week 13.

Seth (Charleston)

SSmith North...what's the most up-to-date prognosis for return and when he returns what are your thoughts on his ability to perform moving forward. I hate to keep him if this is the type of injury that will make him unusable. Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:41 PM)

Seth: Appreciate your question - but it's sort of like the return from a hamstring. By all accounts this was a decent Grade II tear. Guys always push a little more in games than practice, making it easy for these things to get aggravated. Smith himself made it sound like the second week of December was the most reasonable "soonest" return date - but keep in mind that could change, even late that week. You'd like to think he won't come back before he's ready, but...

Chad (Salt Lake City)

Reggie Bush okay? He looked a little confused out there against the Cowboys. Any word on him?

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Chad: I think he was rusty. And that's to be expected. After the fumble I think they decided limiting his action would be best. But at least he was able to get out there, test the leg, get comfortable in a game. Have not heard of any setback so don't think there was one.

Jason (Ottawa Canada)

Update on Addai?

Stephania Bell
  (3:44 PM)

Jason: ALready hearing not to expect him this week. His is a daily assessment, the team is not putting any timetable on him. Obviously they want him back but when it's nerve injury, they don't fool around. Need to makes sure he's truly recovered.

Ryan (Injury Hades)

Whats the word on Big Ben, I can not take another guy who is "fine" during the game and then out the following week....I'm looking at you Dallas Clark and Hakeem Nicks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Ryan: You can't blame Nicks. His situation change to an emergency one overnight. And Clark got injured late in the game so no one noticed. Ben says he'll play but he'll be in a boot up until then. Will the foot bother him? Probably. But he's not a Gates or Z Miller so doesn't need to really run - will probably do OK.

Mike (D)

Anything wrong with Chris Johnson you know of? Did his legs accidently fall off on Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Mike: They scored ZERO points. No running, passing or kicking. Safe to say everyone failed on the Titans offense. My guess is they want to make that right this week.

MikeD (ChevyChase, MD)

Whats up with Ryan Torain and will he be the #1 if he ever comes back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

MikeD: Let me tell you what Shanahan said when asked about Torain Monday: "I don't know if he's made any progress. Hopefully he's better."How's that for unhelpful? And as far as the #1, I think SHanahan showed Sunday when James touched the ball more than K Williams that there can be no confidence as to a Number One in Washington.

George (Cleveland)

Any word on Colt McCoy? I actually care more about how it impacts the Cle D fantasy wise than his impact on the O

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

George: Not likely he plays. Sounds like Delhomme will get another start.

Greg (DC)

Stephie Bad-News.... which would you rather have going forward considering the injury concerns of each team? Dixon or Choice? With Barber and Gore out, and Westy/Felix neither being the picture of health, which 3rd-Stringer would you pick up for this year's playoff run?

Stephania Bell
  (3:50 PM)

Greg: Choice. I think if he gets a chance to remind them of his talent, he will then "earn" more carries. I think...

Rich (Weymouth,MA)

How is Asante Samuel doing ? i want to take Philly in Survivor but there D scares me (otherwise might take Seattle)

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Rich: Actually did oK in Monday but more of a walkthrough. Sounds like Philly has hopes of him being in lineup though, barring setback.

Rob (PTown)

I'm looking to handcuff Turner before he becomes another victim of hurting RBs. What is going on with Snelling? Is there another Atl RB to pick up?

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Rob: Snelling injured his hamstring and then didn't play in the 4th q. But no word on the severity. Given the lack of news, I think Snelling is safe.

Nick (LA)

Thoughts on Dwayne Bow or Calvin Johnson from here on out?

Stephania Bell
  (3:54 PM)

Nick: Bowe, not really close for me.

Greg (DC)

One last shot--any news on Wayne? Did you see his apparent injury?

Stephania Bell
  (3:56 PM)

Greg: Looked like a hard landing - and then we didn't see him again - but there's been no word of a specific injury. Not that the Colts rush right out to tell us - but until we have something solid, there's no legitimate injury story there.

Mike (SF)

Westbrook really went to the slate with power last night, very impressive. Taking into account the schedule, severity of the injuries, etc, would you rather Toby Gerhart or Westy if you could only be assured of one off the wire?

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Westbrook - AP will be back, Gore won't...

Max (NJ)

You're doing thoughts? Ok, how about Floyd or Williams (TB)? I trust your opinion

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

Max: Don't know if you should, but since you asked...I pick Williams - only because I like to go with the healthi-EST guy, and Rivers is now getting more targets available to him. But don't take that as a sign of me being down on Floyd.

Niners Fan and Gore Owner (Not facing reality)

Stephania, I still don't want to face reality that Gore is done for the season. How come they let him back into the game after he went to the locker room if his hip was broken?

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

They wouldn't have let him back if there was any cause for concern - maybe it's something they saw later. It's an unusual injury - still unclear where exactly the fracture is -which would help us understand the whole scenario a lot better. A lot of things are often referred to - for simplicity - as the "hip" - so whether the break is in the joint or on the pelvis or somewhere else on the femur (thighbone) - hard to get a clear picture from the little we know right now.

Stephania Bell
  (4:02 PM)

OK everyone - time for me to go. Thanks for cheering me up with your awesome questions and comments. Will post blogs throughout the week and hope to see you back here Friday!!