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December 21, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:03 PM)

Happy Tuesday everyone! Who's still alive in their fantasy playoffs? I am moving onto the championship round thanks to my late pickup of the Patriots D against a (better-than-I-expected) Matt Flynn...but they delivered a pick 6 that won me the game! But sadly, Collie is out again and Foster gave me a scare...Who has you concerned?

Sean (SF)

hello! hopefully i'm the first post! Any chance Gates plays this weekend or next?

Stephania Bell
  (3:05 PM)

Sean: First SF post! I suppose there's always a chance. I mean he's not officially out. But reading the tea leaves would suggest that it's highly unlikely Gates returns after his hint that his efforts would be geared towards helping in the playoffs, if they make them.

Steve (Windsor Canada)

What is the latest on Knowshon Moreno?

Stephania Bell
  (3:06 PM)

Steve: Moreno took a shot to the ribs and at this point is considered questionable. It's still early enough in the week that this could go either way, but I'd be seeking an alternate just in case.

Chris (South Africa)

Should I be worried about Arian Foster and his glute?

Stephania Bell
  (3:09 PM)

Chris: Thanks for traveling so far to join us...All indications are that we should not be worried. He says he could have continued to play if necessary (I guess he didn't know it was necessary for fantasy owners). Would not be surprised if they rest him early in the week but sounds as if he'll be able to play.

Scott (Western Massachusetts)

So there was NO indication that AP might sit? Crushing...

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Scott: I suppose we can always go back to the idea that when a player is questionable, we have to assume there's always the chance he sits. But everything - including Saturday's workout and comments from the team - suggested he would play - but apparently he didn't look good in pregame warmups. It was the thigh bruise, so have to imagine he couldn't get loose, felt tight and/or pain with running. I will say this...given that it came so close to him playing, it certainly suggests he should be out there in Week 16, for those still playing.

Daivd (Texas)

Thanks for all the great advice. So I made it to the championship game thanks to a great game by Collie, I am real thin behind him at WR, please tell me that a miracle occurred and he is going to play this week.

Stephania Bell
  (3:13 PM)

David: Well, hate to tell you that I can't say a miracle has occurred. Although seeing him walk off the field after that last hit was a welcome relief. Collie says he doesn't feel as bad after this hit as the one previous. But the Colts have made it clear they will be exceptionally cautious (and quite frankly, they were the last time)'s hard to imagine we see him in Week 16, if again.

Mike (NC)

Lets get it out of the way first........Chances of Rodgers playing this week? thks

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Mike: Well, not quite first, but surely many folks are wondering. Can't give you a percentage b/c Rodgers will go through the stepwise concussion tests just like everyone else and it will be a daily assessment. But I will say that seeing him travel with the team to New England is a very good sign. If he had not improved he would not be traveling, standing on the sideline, wearing a headset...all of those things suggest he is doing well. Now if he an exercise without a setback, then he should be in good shape.

Dave (CA)

Anything to worry about with Jamaal Charles?

Stephania Bell
  (3:16 PM)

Dave: It sounds like Charles was dealing with cramps. Initially it looked like there might have been some injury to his lower leg, but apparently it was a cramp issue. We'll see if he turns up on the injury report but I would expect not if that's truly the issue.

Rob (Minneapolis)

A little birdie told me A Peterson was lifting weights today only a day after being held out of last nights game. I feel the weather and banged up knee was the reasoning, and that he'll be back in the line-up next week. Do you agree?

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Rob: The official statement is that weather was not a factor...but any muscle that is already limited is going to be riskier if it doesn't stay warm, so maybe it just made their decision that much easier. I do think he's back next week.

Craig (St. Paul, MN)

Odds we see Malcolm Floyd this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (3:20 PM)

Craig: Norv Turner was hinting early in the week that Floyd seems to have made progress. While he wasn't prepared to make projections about his availability just yet (prob not before Weds practice), he sounded encouraged. Really have to see him test it in practice, full-speed running, the usual...

bob (virginia)

is zach miller back to normal and a TE

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Bob: I don't know if he's back to "normal" as far as his foot but he has been more productive lately and it doesn't seem to be bothering him as much. Given the tight end situation all around, I'd be comfortable using him at this point.

Suzi (AZ)

Hi Stephania. Nicks and Manningham both back to full health? Who do you like better this week? Will miss your chats. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

Hi Suzi: Thanks! And btw, chats go all the way through New Year's Eve...and then we will pick up again (don't know when exactly) in 2011 to start talking baseball!! In the meantime, Manningham had a solid performance, enough to make me forget about his hip -and certainly haven't heard of any setback. And Nicks seems to be doing fine too. I think the Giants are wounded from the loss, but physically ok.

Alex (Boston)

Glad you made the playoffs Stephie, but I hope you drop the Pats defense before they all sprain their ankles in practice or get food poisoning at the team meeting. Which backup RBs would you pick up this week out of Gerhart, Derrick Ward, and Rashas Jennings?

Stephania Bell
  (3:25 PM)

Alex: Good point. But despite the curse, I have been waiver-wire resourceful enough to get this far. Now it's a two week playoff so I hope my team can stay healthy...And I would get Gerhart. We saw that if anything happens to AP he can deliver. And that would be my choice for pickup.

Chris (Ewing, NJ)

Should I be worried about Jones-Drew this week? He disappeared last week!

Stephania Bell
  (3:26 PM)

Chris: Can't say worry from an injury standpoint. Just from the Jags being the Jags there.

Matt (Indiana)

Thanks for addressing Collie's situation. But what do you think are his chances of making it back for the playoffs, given the colts do make it. A 3rd concussion usually entails a team shutting down that player for the you think this is what is most likely to happen?

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Matt: No - not because of a "number." The Colts still have only reported two official concussions. There's some discussion about the setback he had after being cleared to return the first time. In any event, each concussion is treated on its own merit as an individual event. That said, it's only natural for the team to be more concerned given that he has had more than one incident this season. The tools to evaluate these injuries are still evolving - but based on what exists, they will evaluate his progress and deal with his medical return to baseline first. Once he approaches that point, I'm sure there will be long conversations about what the next step is - whether it means sit out or return, etc. But I can tell you you won't likely hear the team jump to say he's officially done, even if they suspect that he might be.

Al (Baltimore)

How about the Cowboy folk? Romo's I guess done, Barber's doing about Roy Williams? I need the guy to be listed as DOUBTFUL so I can replace him. Thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (3:31 PM)

Al: All I can tell you is that Williams was present at today's walkthrough. But that's a far cry fom full practice. I'm not sure I'd even wait for him. I'd be looking for other options to line up at WR anyway. He's too inconsistent for me.

D.O. (Boston)

Hey Stephania, fellow 'Cane here.... I own both AP AND Foster and somehow made it to the championship. I have top WW priority over my opponent and V-Jax is sitting unclaimed. What do I do?

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

D.O. Go 'Canes...although it's been admittedly not our finest year...Go get V-Jax. Run, don't walk.

Brian (MA)

Will Shaun Hill be back this week? Need to know for Burleson.

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Brian: He could be. Schwartz is saying that he won't announce a starter until Sunday. But Hill was making strides last week (coming off the broken finger) and Stanton now has a separated non-throwing shoulder, which will make it tougher for him to play. I guess they want to see if Hill throws the ball better as the week goes on - but I'd be guessing it will be him.

Ryan (Toledo)

Do you have anything on Run-DMC's health?

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

Ryan: Lots of folks asking but no official word on an injury that's come my way. Will be watching practice reports to see.

Cliff (Philly)

Does Chris Ivory return Monday night in Atlanta?

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

Cliff: I think the Saints hope so but they have to see how he does through the week. At the end of last week he wasn't even practicing after taking the PRP injection. The rest was no doubt better for him than trying to play, but whether he'll be ready or not will probably not become apparent until later in the week. And he could be q again going into Monday night so be sure to have a backup plan.

Brian (Orlando )

Hi Stephania! What do I do with Best? He nearly cost me a trip to the championship game. Is he hurt or not? I may reach out for Lynch instead.

Stephania Bell
  (3:38 PM)

Brian: Should not be counting on Best. He really has not deserved your attention since the turf toe injury and Maurice Morris basically showed that he is their go-to guy right now.

Kevin (Syracuse)

Is Barber going to be back for the Cowboys and if so how much will that impact Mr. choice against the Cards?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Kevin: Since it looked like he had a shot last week, he probably has a bigger shot of returning this week. His return - to me - would probably impact Choice's touches the most.

Josh (Nashville)

How is DJAX with that ankle?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Josh: Judging from last week? just fine

rick (east lansing)

any news on matt prater? need him for the championship

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

rick: still questionable. not sure he's ready to go by this weekend.

Jon (Westboro)

Stephania: Guidelines from Cantu43 and the American Academy ofNeurology6 both recommend termination of the season afterthe third concussion within the same season. The decision ismore difficult if one of the injuries was more severe or was asevere injury resulting from a minimal blow, suggesting thatthe athlete?s brain may be at particular risk for recurrent injury.In addition, because many athletes participate in year-roundactivities, once they are disqualified for the ??season,?? it maybe difficult to determine at what point they can resume contactplay. Other issues without clear-cut answers in the literatureare when to disqualify an athlete who has not been renderedunconscious and whose symptoms cleared rapidly or one whosuffered multiple mild to moderate concussions throughout thecareer and whether youth athletes should be treated differentlyfor initial and recurrent concussive injuries.

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Jon: yes - I'm aware - but thanks for sharing the info here. And I was at a concussion workgroup meeting in Pittsburgh just last week where some of the latest and best research is being done. The fact is that the situation is fluid - and the field is generally at a point where the answers are not clear cut. Many of the guidelines are being challenged because of specific "numbers" of concussions, etc b/c we now know that one apparently "mild" concussion, per earlier guideline descriptions, can still leave someone with permanent symptoms where blows that appear more severe initially may not. I think the NFL is trying to establish that the health of the player is ultimately the main interest, but the demarcations are anything but clear.

Todd (Nashville)

If you're 3 running backs were Chris Johnson, MJD, and Torain, would you start Torain over one of the others?

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Todd: Wow, tough question. Even though both CJohnson and mJD have had some bad games, it would just go against everything in me to sit the two of them. I'd rather go with them and take my chances, then bench one and regret it later.

Matt (OR)

Is Tamme really ok? Lingering illness ALONE would ruing MY day if I was a pro athlete, forget the knee problem. Or was it just a bad week for him with Collie back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Matt: I think he's OK, but I don't think he's really at 100%. Still, I played him this week. I want to see what he does in practice this week. He's a better bet than most other tight ends out there right now - and if Collie is out, he likely gets even more looks. So if he's active on gameday, I'm probably playing him.

Brian (Richmond, VA)

Bears DST vs. Jets - Bucs DST vs. Seahawks - Colts DST @ Raiders?? Start 1!!

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

Brian: After last night, I'm high on the Bears D. And they are playing with confidence. But TB has a nice matchup too. Not taking the Colts. Bears or TB and it's probably the Bears.

Lindsey (SC)

Will Palumolu (sp?) be back for Pittsburg this week? If not is that a significant enough downgrade to play the Pats D instead of the Steelers? Both matchups are nice (Pitt v Car and NE v Buff) so I'm splitting hairs, but would like your opinion...thanks

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Lindsey: Wouldn't count on Polamalu. It sounded like he might not be able to go with the game being Thurs night. That said, he was testing his leg some Monday in practice. You could always wait until last minute since they play Thurs and then if you find out he's not going, plug in Pats.

SHHH!!! (Im at work)

How does the Colts backfiled look from an injury perspective? Do you expect Addai or Hart to play? If not, do you think D. Brown is a better play than C. Benson?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

Don't expect Addai. No idea where Hart is on the health radar. He's been absent from practice for a long time. Presume it's D Brown again and I probably take my chances with him.

Sarah (NYC)

What is going on with Felix Jones? Haven't heard much about the injury that was taking him out of this past week's game and keeping him out of practice today...

Stephania Bell
  (3:54 PM)

Sarah: You're right. We haven't heard much either. Not at the point where I'm worried about him not playing - suspect we won't get any info until Weds and then we can determine how serious.

Thomas (Seattle)

Peyton Hillis doesn't look as dominating in the past two weeks has he has been the rest of the season. Is he wearing out or is there perhaps something wrong with him that the team is not disclosing? Should I start Torain in a dream match-up over Hillis in the Super Bowl Week 16?

Stephania Bell
  (3:56 PM)

Thomas: I don't think there's anything wrong. People are just paying more attention to him now. It would be hard for me to start Torain over Hillis as much as I like Torain.

Dillon (Houston,TX)

Any chance Houston shelves Andre Johnson for the rest of the season to heal up those nagging injuries?

Stephania Bell
  (3:56 PM)

Dillon: No, not from what I'm hearing.

Brandon (Phoenix)

Just saw something about Anthony Dixon and an ankle...have you heard anything about this? I picked up Westbrook when Gore went down and I have actually been playing him. Thinking of going with TJones in the flex this week but not if Dixon is hurt.

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

Brandon: Apparently he sprained his ankle in the game Thursday, but he was able to finish the game. Sounds like they're resting him early but still expecting him to play this week.

Paul (North Carolina)

Who would be the safest play: B Marshall, H Nicks, or D. Brown for flex spot?

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Paul: Nicks - most opportunity to score.

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

OK everyone: Time for me to vacate the chat room. Thanks so much for coming and bringing your awesome questions. Good luck getting ready for the championship round(s). Stay healthy! There won't be a Friday chat because of the holiday, but I will have a blog out Thursday and yes, Saturday, b/c we know you all need those last minute injury updates before the big games Sunday. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!