Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 8, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:02 PM)

Hello everyone on this Tuesday afternoon. Injuries sort of flying under the radar with all the other sports news but this is our chat topic for the day where I will dedicate the time to answering - as best I can - early injury questions.

Jeff (ABQ)

What is going on with Hillis? Is there any remote chance he makes an impact this year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:05 PM)

Jeff: I think there is still a chance - which is why I'm hanging onto him in my league. I'm hoping he can be back to help me in fantasy playoffs. I don't think it's a lock - and I will see as the next few weeks unfold if I still feel the same way - but it's in his interest to get back and prove himself as he may be looking for a job. So I think if he can, he does.

Dustin (Europa)

What's the probability that Ryan Mathews plays this week?

Stephania Bell
  (3:07 PM)

Dustin: So far, it's looking pretty encouraging. Mathews did some warmup before Sunday's game even though he didn't play. He was present in Monday's practice - even though it was just a walkthrough - and if all continues well, he should play.

Ray (San Francisco)

Hi there Ms. Bell, it's your persistent buddy Ray here...49ers win again, but I'm hearing talk of a Frank Gore ankle injury, is it something to worry about? Lets beat up on the Giants this Sunday, go niners!!

Stephania Bell
  (3:10 PM)

Ray: Persistence pays (within reason people)...it sounded worrisome when trusted writer Matt Maiocco talked about his difficulty walking or stepping down from a riser post-game. But then Jim Harbaugh and Frank Gore have both come out saying X-rays negative, he's feeling fine (not sure "fine" is the word) but it sounds like they expect to have him. Wouldn't be at all surprised if practice is limited.

Bram (Los Angeles, CA)

With hamstring problems in different locations on the same leg, will Miles Austin come back strong for fantasy playoffs?

Stephania Bell
  (3:12 PM)

Bram: Turns out, it's his other leg this time. SO there's a plus - and a minus. Plus is you could say no setback with the original injury. The minus is that now he's injured both wheels. Still, you look at his 3 week absence followed by a strong game with the last injury, both legs getting some rest now - and while he will remain risky, I do think he can come back by playoffs and play well.

Alan (Buffaol)

When can we expect to see Felix Jones back in the lineup for Dallas and to what extent has DeMarco Murray supplanted him as the starter. I own both...

Stephania Bell
  (3:14 PM)

Alan: There are hints he could come back this week since he did some cutting for the first time on Monday. Assuming ankle responds to increased work this week, he could be active - but I would expect Murray to get more work, at least initially. Garrett has been hinting at RB by committee for a couple weeks now saying he wants to use both but with Jones coming off a significant injury (not to mention the prior shoulder issue), along with Murray proving himself, expect Jones to start with the 2nd role.

Mark (NY)

Stephania, is McFadden out for this Thursday's game?. I have Michael Bush and he did wonders for my team on Sunday. Should I expect the same Michael Bush Thursday night?

Stephania Bell
  (3:17 PM)

Mark: Nothing official yet but upon hearing yesterday that he has yet to run, it certainly doesn't sound like a guy who's ready to play in a game days later. If he runs today, would say it's possible. If not, very skeptical. We need to see him DO something to get a better idea about projecting when he could return. Assuming he doesn't come back, it will be plenty of Michael Bush since they only gave Taiwan Jones 2 or 3 carries.

Sam (Richmond, VA)

Hey stephania, any news on Andre Johnson's hammy? Im hoping to have him available for the stretch run.

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Sam: Sounds like he won't be quite ready for this week. Again, he's another one where they'll keep the door open but with the soreness he experienced last week combined with him not practicing (or not expected to) this Weds, I'm not holding out high hopes. They really, really don't want there to be a setback with him and while everyone's frsutrated that it's taking longer, they're willing to wait it out vs risking many more weeks.

Josh (Hood River)

Hey Stephania! What's the story on Bradshaw? I've got Jacobs and I'm wondering how much longer he'll be a relevant fantasy option.

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Josh: Sounds like they're treating Bradshaw's injury conservatively and that means it depends on pain. Apparently he is being re-evaluated today and then we will get an idea of whether they're going to allow him to test it in practice. He says he's feeling better but these things always feel better when you rest. The key will be how it feels when he tries running again. Think there's a decent chance he comes back - but we need to see how week goes along.

Michael (Mishawaka, IN)

Starphania: can you stay with the Giants - is Nicks going to be back this week?

Stephania Bell
  (3:22 PM)

Michael: Sounds pretty positive on his end. He too is being re-evaluated today but his injury was always thought to be minor. Still, it's a hamstring and look how problematic they have been around the league. I anticipate limited practice for him and then a pregame test.

Robert (Orlando)

Any news at all on Mark Ingram? Not sure if I'm going to keep him on the roster at this point.

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

Robert: Sorry - but not a word yet. Often when a guy doesn't play we don't hear much (especially from the Saints) so we may be stuck until Weds before we learn anything. So far no running, no practice.

Peter (CT)

Jahvid Best...any hope?

Stephania Bell
  (3:26 PM)

Peter: Not for this week. Best still hinting at a possible return, which is reasonable. These injuries are literally evaluated on a day-to-day basis and there is no way to anticipate time to recover. The fact they are planning on not having him this week AND that they re-signed Kevin Smith suggests his recovery is going slowly.

Matt (Toronto)

What's up with Floyd? Will he be healthy again this year? It seems he is way too fragile... Too frustrating to have on my team!

Stephania Bell
  (3:30 PM)

Matt: Well, we're hearing he won't likely play Thursday, so you can plan on that. Don't think it's time to say yet he'll never be healthy again this year, but I understand the challenges. Still, if you've got room on the bench, he can be a worthwhile flex at times- and you have to see how VJax holds up too.

David (New Rochelle, NY)

Is Beanie Wells going to be fantasy relevant the rest of the season or is he questionable both in terms of quality and participation every week? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

David: Sounds like you've been listening to me. I think he is questionable in terms of both quality and participation. Rest of season. He has a knee issue which he expects to be an issue all year. Then he goes out and has a couple of great performances as if to shush the doubters. Then he has a performance like last week. He's not as explosive, it is affecting his literal performance, whether he can be fantasy productive or not will likely be a weekly question.

Rob (NJ)

Giants fan here, don't hold it against me this week! Is Aaron Hernandez closer to 100% yet? He just doesn't look at explosive to me even though he's been out there playing for the most part.

Stephania Bell
  (3:34 PM)

Rob: I think what you're seeing is a guy playing through injury. He's well enough to be out there but he's still on the mend from an MCL injury (and playing probably slows that recovery a bit). But he's still getting playing time and still a target so he remains more valuable then some of the other options out there.

Mike (MN)

Addai going to play and get carries or look elsewhere?

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Mike: Ugh. Hard to know exactly what is going on with Addai b/c Colts say very little about injuries. The latest is that his knee is more the issue than his hamstring but it is all very vague. He's been active but not starting for 2 weeks. Until he does more during the week, I'd stay away.

Zach (Roswell)

Percy Harvin good for this week?

Stephania Bell
  (3:38 PM)

Zach: He should play. Don't know about good. He syas his ribs are feeling better but shouldn't they be after the bye? I wonder what will happen when he faces contact. He hasn't been able to finish a game in weeks.

Scott (Boston)

Please explain the RB Shananagans in Wash?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Scott: There is no explanation. Now SHanahan reportedly not willing to commit to Helu as the starter. Expect a weekly carousel.

Matt (Oakland)

Thoughts on Blount? Is there any worry of setback?

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

Matt: No word of that. I suspect more that despite the team suggesting they would be relying on him, they opted to bring him in more gradually. I expect more from him going forward.

Jeff (Portland)

Daniel Thomas, low production in week 9 because of injury or an effective Bush?

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Jeff: Think the hamstring is still an issue. Even though he was active there were rumblings in Miami the team was still concerned about his hamstring, especially given that he has already suffered a setback. Even with limited workouts he's not able to convince everyone that he's better so I think he's not over the hump quite yet. Also, he did not look great in preseason as far as grasping the offense, so limited practice doesn't help him. When he gets back to doing more then we can start hoping for increased game action.

Eric (DC)

How come you say Andre Johnson probably won't be ready this week when I'm reading that his workout yesterday went very well?'

Stephania Bell
  (3:45 PM)

Eric: His workouts have actually been going very well for some time. He LOOKS really good and this is probably why coaches were so encouraged earlier. The problem is what Johnson still feels - and the fact he is not working out back-to-back days, that he felt like there was a bit of a backward move last week, all these things combined suggest they will exercise caution if any of those things still present late in the week.

Paul (NM)

Taking injuries to either starter, which backup has more value going forward, Tolbert or M. Bush? Its a ppr league.

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Paul: Tolbert to me, b/c plays a role in the passing game.

Matt (Madison)

Any word on how McGahee's hand held up? Officially safe to start him?

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Matt: Haven't heard anything, which is probably a good sign. And based on what we saw? I think he confirmed his hand is working just fine.

Luke (New York)

Should I be holding my breath everytime Antonio Gates steps onto the field?

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

Luke: I actually think you don't have to be THAT nervous. I mean, it's still going to be a week-to-week situation with him. And there's always the possibility of a setback. But he is trending in the right direction, tolerating practice and increaseed game play.

Steve (NC)

Any news on Stafford? I just acquired him in a trade for Tolbert/Tebow.

Stephania Bell
  (3:50 PM)

Steve: Think he's fine. Bye week came at a nice time to allow his ankle some rest.

LittleRon (WV)

Update on N. Washington please*************

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

LittleRon: They're calling it a bruised hip but that's all we've heard. No particular reason to think he'll miss time. At least not yet.

H.R. (Jonesboro)

Your thoughts on Peyton playing at all next year and do you have him as a keeper or do you think this may be career-ending?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

H.R.: Think he's not out of the woods. I wouldn't dump him from a keeper league. But he has a long way to go.

Ben (FL)

Any news on Janikowski"s hammy?

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Ben: Sore last week and into the game - but still managed a 48 yarder. Assume no worse for the wear.

tony (AR)

i saw in sundays game that shonn greene was being looked at on the sidelines then mcnight came in and played the rest of the game....any news there is he hurt or was it just precaution.

Stephania Bell
  (3:54 PM)

Tony: He was being evaluated for a concussion. He later said he was fine (presuming he passed the concussion tests) but since he was injured in the 4th q, there was no point in bringing him back in late.

Jason (Youngstown)

Worried about Plaxico's back issue. Any chance it will give him issues in the future or do you think he will be able to continue develop chemistry with Sanchez.

Stephania Bell
  (3:56 PM)

Jason: Back issues always a possibility for recurrence. That said, so far we've seen nothing to suggest it's really serious. As far as the chemistry, that I can't speak to but you have to think more time on the field together has to help.

Dave (Miami)

Go Canes!! What is up with Gresham and his injury? Worth keeping him on my bench?

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Dave: I wouldn't give up on him. Just another guy with a hamstring injury. They never thought it was a big deal but as these things often go, turned out to be more than a one-game issue. Still, there's a decent chance he's back this week and he says he will be, fwiw.

Bruce (TN)

Hi Stephania - Wasn't the surgery that Andre Johnson had for his hamstring supposed to speed up the healing process and get him back on the field sooner? It seems like I heard when he first got hurt that he could possibly miss 4-6 weeks before the surgery. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Bruce: It was designed to help prevent this from being something that would nag at him all season and prevent full recovery. While the whole process is taking longer than we all expected, it's not outside the range for how long doctors told him it COULD take. And the hope is that once he's back, there will be no issues going forward. So in the end, if he comes back and finishes strong, it will have been a good decision.

tyler (cincinnati)

santana moss news?

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

Tyler: Don't have anything new yet. He was scheduled to get hardware removed within about 3 weeks so we're nearing that. Then it would be when he'd be cleared to return to practice - so think we're still a couple weeks away at least. But when we hear an update, I'll post it.

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

OK everyone - time for me to go. Thanks so much for all the great questions and all the energy! Best of luck in Week 10!! We'll be back Friday, hopefully with no new injuries to report after the Thursday night game.