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November 4, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:01 AM)

Good morning and happy Friday everyone. Who are we most nervous about heading into Week 9???

Russ (Chicago)

Hi Stephania, If Addai is healthy, does he automatically reclaim the #1 spot or should I continue to start Delone Carter? I got burned a few Sundays ago when they said Addai was starting yet he only lasted about 2 plays. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Russ: He has practiced every day this week. Expect, as of now, that he starts. Hamstrings - unpredictable - but he was dressed as the No. 3 last week so assume he's on track to start Sunday.

LeAnne (Washington)

Stephania, is McGahee going to test his hand and play sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

LeAnne: It looks that way, surprising me a bit. But part of why they wrap his hand and let him practice is to see if the wrap will do its job and if he can still do what he needs to do. Sounds like he was using his right hand more yesterday. If he works again today, expect he sees some playing time, although how much he's used is not clear.

David (NYC)

Assuming Hillis practices today and plays Sunday... is there any reason to expect much? Even when he's been "healthy" he's only had one good game all season. Would you even put him as a flex play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

David: I have him on my team and yes, I put him in as a RB2. He's the clear starter, I've got as good a chance with him as any second-RB and I have to believe the extra time to allow him to get healthy (hopefully) really did. Facing a pretty good run D so I don't expect crazy points, but I expect production.

Dave (NC)

Can you help us understand why there's been such confusion over Bradshaw's injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Dave: I actually wrote a longer post on this in my Thursday blog so won't repeat it all here. But it boils down to the fact that Bradshaw has some crack in a bone in his foot (presumably on the same 5th metatarsal where he's had previous surgery), sounds like a stress fracture - and there is discussion - as is often the case in medicine - about how to best manage it. There are probably options, ranging from surgery to treating it conservatively and trying to play and those are being discussed. Leads to conflicting projections. I think there's still a good chance Bradshaw does not play this week, but it sounds as if he plans to defer surgery and try to come back sooner rather than later.

Pat (Boston)

Hi Stephania,Any insight on Nicks?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Pat: To follow with another Giant, Nicks day-to-day and truly he is. While the fact he hasn't practiced isn't exactly encouraging, they often give him right up until gametime to test his legs and see if he's ready to go. I think it is a legit Q and will come down to gametime.

Diego (Chicago)

Not much news on Jermaine Gresham, what do you make of what you know?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Diego: I think Gresham will be out this week. Couldn't play last Sunday after he couldn't get loose but then hasn't been back in practice all week either. Sounds like the team expects him out.

JONMIKE (DALLAS)

What about DMAC? Being on crutches doesn't sound good. Am I picking up Bush this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

JonMike: Yes, you are picking up Bush if he's still available. McFadden, as you said, still on crutches and not looking like he'll be ready to run Sunday. With the Raiders playing only four days later on the first Thursday night game of the season, expect he sits this week and they hope he gets better for Wk 10.

Tom (Texas)

Will Fred Davis play this week or should I pick up a replacement?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Tom: Only a Grade 1 ankle sprain and he was back doing some limited work Thursday so I expect he plays.

Jonathan (South Carolina)

Any updates on Sebastian Janikowski? Will he be playing this Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Jonathan: They're hoping. He's supposed to test his hamstring today or tomorrow - but they have an emergency plan if they need to re-sign another kicker. We should have a better idea by Saturday since they'd need to bring someone in.

scooter (chicago)

any update on andre johnson

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Scooter: Sounds like he's still feeling "something" in the leg, so despite looking good when he's on the field, the team will not press him into game situations until he really feels the issue is behind him. He didn't practice Thursday. Suppose he could turn in a practice today and be available - but they have maintained it will be gametime decision. Not looking likely at this point however.

Mark (Minny)

Is D. Thomas a safe bet to play this week? Really hurting with Bradshaw questionable and Matthews more than likely out.

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Mark: We learned last week that D. Thomas is anything but safe. He was out last week after turning in virtually an identical practice week to the weeks prior. He had the same practice load this week and while he's optimistic, sounds like others around him aren't so much. Hate to say it, but you better find yourself some more insurance b/c Mathews is likely out.

Evan (GA)

Will Mark Ingram play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Evan: My New Orleans sources tell me they don't expect him to and he hasn't been able to get back to practice yet with the heel bruise.

Adrian (NC)

You think Sam Bradford plays this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Adrian: Door definitely open. He got out of the walking boot early this week, yesterday worked on individual drills and looked pretty good according to those who were there. If he can get into some real practice today, there's a chance.

Kathy (PA)

Any news on the San Diego RB's? I have Tolbert and my decision to play him over Blount depends on the health of the whole lot (including Blount if you have any info there)

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Kathy: Tolbert the healthiest right now. Expect him to get plenty of work. Mathews unlikely to play with the groin injury but they say they have not totally ruled him out. Brinkley coming off the concussion and they sound encouraged he could be cleared (but that still has to happen). Blount has been a full participant in practice all week and they plan on using him a LOT.

Michael (Pittsburgh)

Is Julio Jones going to play this week for sure? Will he be 100% if he does?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Michael: Well, nothing's for sure until they kick off. Just ask Marshawn Lynch. That said, everyone in Atlanta thinks Jones is playing. Despite being limited in practice - which may just be a way of ensuring he doesn't overdo before the game - he says he feels great and is ready to go.

Kevin (NY)

with DMC likely out, is it all M Bush or is Taiwan Jones in the mix?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Kevin: Think Jones has an opportunity to see a little bit of work. Just wouldn't count on him as anything more than a flyer.

Sloan (RI)

Any information on why Sidney Rice landed back amongst the questionables?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Sloan: Same foot ailment that had him on the list last week. Of course he put up over a hundred yards last week so I don't expect this will affect his status - and he and Jackson seem to be getting some nice chemistry. Jackson expected to start.

Seth (KC)

Do we need to keep worrying about BJGE's toe? BTW, GO JAYHAWKS! KU BASKETBALL!

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Seth: Rock chalk! And I think as long as BJGE is on the report, we "worry" at least a little. But from what I understand, he's doing pretty well. The reason for more Faulk, less BJGE last week had more to do with the Patriots game situation than a toe. I expect we get more of BJGE this week.

Jon (Baltimore)

Curious on Brent Celek's mysterious hip injury. I picked him up thinking he could explode against da bears who are not to good against TEs at least on paper. Is he a go when game time rolls around?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Jon: He has a hip contusion (deep bruise). Since the Eagles play Monday night, Thursday technically considered first practice and it's when first injury reports in for MNF teams. They held him out no doubt b/c he has an extra day. He told reporters he fully plans to play. Would be nice to see him practice some today, but so far no reason to panic.

Shawn (DC)

Considering how how hobbled Antonio Gates has been, Ive been really impressed with his play the last two weeks. Should I be optimistic the rest of the year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Shawn: Cautiously so. I think the fact he's been able to come back to practices after playing in games, esp the amount he played this past Monday night, is a really good sign. But the injury is still unpredictable and could flare up potentially anytime. So you play him right now while he's productive and hope for the best.

Red (Plano)

Would you trust LGBlounts knee over Beanies this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Red: Yes, I would. Beanie has burned fantasy owners who benched him when the projection - from his own team - has been that they would limit his activity b/c of problems with his knee (or before it was the hamstring). The statement has already been made - by Beanie - that the knee WILL be a problem all year. So the plan is to give him limited practice time, then hope he's ready and able on Sunday. I don't like it, think he's wildly inconsistent and it's why he's not on any of my teams. And I trust Blount's likelihood of a good performance more.

Dave (Philly)

What's goin on with Wes Welker?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Dave: He had a sore neck, reportedly after a hit by Polamalu in last week's game. But he was back in practice Thursday and I fully expect him to play.

Jesse (FLA)

Aaron Hernandez playing this weekend? He was limping numerous times during last weeks game

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Jesse: He's been limited in practice all week. Expect he plays unless he really takes a turn for the worse. His knee isn't perfect and I suspect over the course of a game it will get a little worse, but at this point there's been no hint that he might sit out.

Jane (Washington)

How's Malcolm Floyd's hip doing? Play Jon Baldwin over him this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Jane: Floyd seemed to come out of Monday night's game no worse than when he went in. I was actually a little surprised with how good he looked and how well he did Monday after being very questionable with the hip. Not surprised with the short week that he hasn't practiced. Will probably come in at Q but as of now expect him to play.

Jim (NYC)

I read earlier in the week that Shady McCoy had the flu? Any concerns about his status for Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Jim: Yes, he was sent home from practice Thursday b/c of flu-like symptoms. And since the Eagles actually play Monday the extra day should help him.

Xander (Philly)

Plax showed up on the injury report yesterday. Any news on that?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Xander: Tightness in his low back. Jets don't seem overly concerned.

Dan (Here)

So, considering your Beanie/Blount answer would you play Tolbert over Beanie this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Dan: Yes.

Joao (San Diego)

Congrats on the 49ers winning ways! Is D.J. Ware a worthwhile pick-up? Or just a longshot?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Joao: Why thank you - we Bay Area folks are loving the 49ers success...As far as Ware, I think he's both. If you need a possible flyer and have room, get him. If Bradshaw misses any time - and I think he could - Ware will get some touches. But just some.

Chris (AR)

Help me decide Starpahnia. Pierre Thomas or BJGE as my RB #2. I like PT due to Ingram out and nervous about BGJE after last week. Please help!

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Chris: Like Thomas. He's the starter, will get plenty of touches. Never quite sure how Patriots will use their backs, although I expect more from BJGE this week vs last. Still, lean towards Thomas if Ingram out.

Missy (TX)

SB - which D would you use? Cincy or Dallas this week? Also - Cincy or Philly? Thanks so much!

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Missy: Believe it or not - think I go with Cinci. Better than you think D and I like the matchup.

Matt (NJ)

Vjax hammy. did he practice yesterday? thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Matt: He did. Weds off after a Monday night game, not a big surprise. Think he could be up/down on that injury report all year - but expect he plays.

jeff (tucson)

any new info on santana moss. i'm still holding on to him

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

jeff: Still really early on him - hopefully we'll hear more next week as to whether he's being cleared to do any work in practice.

kyle (tx)

Matt Ryan's foot okay? Haven't heard since his bye... play him over Schaub this week with AJ out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Kyle: He wasn't even on the injury report this week so the bye must have been a nice help. He's got a nice matchup vs Colts so expect him to play - and yes, I'd pick him over Schaub this week.

Gus (Pa)

Tarvaris Jackson ok now to start the whole game?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Gus: Looks that way. He did less in practice yesterday but assume that was just to protect him as he's not 100% - but after he came off the bench for over 300 yards, plan on him starting.

John (Great White North)

Is Kolb playing? Stafford on a bye and had Kolb with a favourable matchup. Should I look elsewhere?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

John: Unlikely Kolb plays. Still recovering from the toe along with the midfoot sprain, bone bruise. Hard to imagine that he's ready to roll.

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

OK gang - time for me to go. Guess who's back chatting? Yep, the new dad TMR. Berry is up next from noon to one. He's looking forward to catching up with you all. And then don't forget at 3 p.m. that Melissa Jacobs is chatting over at ESPNW - she has some great lineup advide to dish out. Good luck in Week 9!! See you Sunday on FFNOW!