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December 6, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:04 PM)

Hopefully there are still some of you out there who are prepping for playoffs and haven't been completely derailed by injury!! I actually made the playoffs in one league, just missed on a tiebreaker in a second and, well, the third, my team just had a disrespectful performance...You??

Mark (San Jose)

Stephania, is this the week Austin returns to the Cowboys? Do you think he plays his normal amounts of downs?

Stephania Bell
  (3:06 PM)

Mark: Welcome early bird to the chat! This looks the most like the week he returns. While Jerry Jones has hinted at him coming back before, he has not been really that close to practicing. Recently he began route running and doing some work that suggested he was nearing a return. He's expected to practice Weds and if all goes well, he'll play. Now, that said, doubt he'll snatch up all the targets from Laurent Robinson. My best guess right now is they work him back in in moderation. Should shape up better as the week progresses.

Eric (Washington DC)

Hi Stephania! I missed the Cowboys game - but was shocked at Murray's lack of production. There were rumors on the EPSN comment board that he was hurt - is this true? Give me an excuse to play Helu!

Stephania Bell
  (3:10 PM)

Eric: Sticking with Cowboys, have not heard of a specific injury to Murray, but he did have a lighter workload as well Sunday with Jones getting increased touches. Will let you know if anything comes up and will post.

Quincy's Nephew (Arlington,Va)

Whats your guess as to who starts at running back this week for the Lions,and would you start a healthy Jeremy Macklin over either of them? Great early two part question for you.Keep up the good work!

Stephania Bell
  (3:14 PM)

Hello Quincy's nephew: My guess is it won't be Kevin Smith. Apparently the setback he had with his ankle is more severe than they would have liked, so expect Maurice Morris to start. And even though Maclin has his sights set on playing this week, first I want to see him get through practice (last time he tried to practice his hamstring worsened) and even if he does play, shoulder will not be 100%. So it's a bit of a gamble - and I would trust Morris ove rhim, unless he really shows something huge in practice.

Jeri (San Francisco)

Is it true about the fullback Tony Fiammetta is coming back this week. Need Murray's production back to where we know it could be. You rock girl!, Keep up the great work

Stephania Bell
  (3:16 PM)

Jeri: Why thank you!! And yes, looks like Fiammetta will be back. Had an inner ear problem contributing to nausea, dizziness and is now improving. His absence speaks, at least in part, to Murray's struggles. I'm Sure Murray will be happy to have him back...

Hank (Columbia, SC)

Love your chat! What it the latest on A. Johnson? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Hank: Thanks for coming! Johnson is being called day-to-day. Obviously not good news for him to injure the hamstring, but at least it wasn't the same one he had the surgical procedure on. Reportedly this is a far less severe strain. Still, I doubt they'd bring him back this week since if he's favoring this one it could overload the other side. Beyond this week, hard to say. I'm keeping him on my roster for now, but if you're desperate and need the help THIS week, might want to consider a move.

Suzi (AZ)

How long should the injury to Forte keep him out? And How much do you like Barber in the meantime??

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

Suzi: Well, I think based on what he's done so far, Barber IS the guy while Forte is out (but he's not as good so I don't think he gets replacmeent numbers. Forte has what they're calling a Grade 2 MCL, fair to say the range is 2-4 weeks but a lot depends on how clean the ligament injury is (meaning is it truly isolated without any peripheral damage to other structures) and how well he heals. Even if he gets "mostly" back, if he has difficulty with agility maneuvers, could impair his overall performance. I think they HOPE to have him back before season is out, but whether they will or not is a toss-up.

Adam (Miami)

Any chance we hear after the season that DMC had a lisfranc sprain? Seems like more than just a mid foot sprain and I think under coachspeek a lisfranc injury could be talked about as a midfoot sprain? I personally believe DMC will not come back during the regular season. He is barely walking. He is not practicing. He is most certainly out this week. Seems like a lost season to me.

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Adam - or whoever your are really (I see you keep posting under different names): A Lisfrnac sprain is a form of a midfoot sprain, it's just a specific type. And a minor Lisfranc sprain is not necessarily different from another minor midfoot sprain. When it's really problematic is when the injury is more serious with a fracture or dislocation. Seems we would have heard that - Raiders actually said that there was no structural damage on MRI so if there were they would have been deliberately telling an untruth and I find that hard to believe - but sometimes even with relatively clean MRIs, things heal slowly. Keep in mind McFadden has had lingering toe/ankle injuries in the past, all of which could influence this. Bottom line - it's not good now and it looks like it's a big unknown as to when he returns.

Anthony (Cali)

Adrian Peterson ..... you starting him if he plays on Sunday, or would you be too worried about reinjury?

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

Anthony: There are times where I'd be worried about a guy suffering re-injury and would avoid starting him the first game back. But some guys ar ehard to bench no matter what. And he's one of those guys. I have a hard time imagining the Vikings would put him out there if he's at high risk. They've already demonstrated they will hold him back beyond his own proclamations that he would return. The test for me comes with whether he can show he can get through not just one, but consecutive practices. Not convinced that happens this week but we'll see.

Tim (AZ)

A slightly different type of question from what you normally get:How much do you like Defenses FACING the Bears with Cutler and now Forte on the sidelines?

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Tim: based on what we've seen so far with Hanie and interceptions, I like them more than I otherwise would.


Mrs.Bell any word on the Rams Qb's and would you start the seahawks against the rams this week? Thanks for all your chats and information.

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

AJ: Sounds like Bradford's ankle setback was not minor. He's the franchise QB and now they really have to be careful with him. If it doesn't get right, he could have problems chronically. Not what anyone wants. Meaning I expect him out this week and perhaps (just perhaps at this point) through the rest of the season. AJ Feeley has a small fracture in his thumb and it's unclear whether he'll be able to play through it. Practice squad QB could be the next man up.

Jim Cooperman (NYC)

Any update on Starks? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Jim: Starks aggravated his ankle essentially for the 3rd game in a row and this time it was more significant. Think they want him to get healthy b/c let's face it, this is a team who actually knows they're headed for the playoffs and frankly who expects to run the table. They want him healthy then so I think there's a decent chance he could be out a couple/few weeks.

Patrick ((LA))

How do you feel about Ahmad Bradshaw? Is he fully recovered and worth starting?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Patrick: I feel like, well, Bradshaw seems like a nice guy. But he also came out and had a decent performance out of the gate on that foot and reportedly felt no worse for the wear. Not sure he's yet "fully" recovered but he seems to be back to the point that they'll allow him to keep going...which is what we really want to see.

Jimmy Johnson (Charlotte NC)

any update on MIke VIck? Do you think he will start and be productive?

Stephania Bell
  (3:41 PM)

JJ: Too soon for me to be convinced - but him throwing at practice already is the best sign we've had that he's turned a corner. Weds will be first significant practice. I imagine he'll be limited but if he can get out there back-to-back days and shows he can get the ball down the field, I expect he plays. Probably will wear protective gear but may be hard to protect those lower ribs entirely. Keeping him from taking too many hits will be a priority.

Phil (Buffalo)

How bad is Dalton's injury? I haven't seen much news about it but it seemed like the kind of thing that could keep him out a week or two.

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Phil: So far it sounds like it wasn't a big deal. They removed him perhaps more b/c it was a done deal as far as the outcome of the game and didn't want to risk something more serious. He seems to expect he'll be playing this weekend.

Kmac (Boston)

Greetings Ms Bell, Any idea what is really wrong with Manningham's knee? Things floating around sounds like cartilage. Thank You

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Kmac: I'm obviously just guessing here too since I can't see his knee, but sounds like what we usually refer to in medicine as "debris" - can be flecks of cartilage, or something torn that is irritating the joint causing it to remain swollen. Eithe way it will be tough to keep it from happening b/c if there is junk in there, it's not going anywhere.

Dennis (My Cube)

Any update on Nicks and his aggrevated ankle?

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Dennis: He says he didn't hurt it. Nicks is as tough as they come. Don't see it being a huge issue if he says it isn't.

Andy (Chicago)

Are word on Oaklands WR's Ford & Moore?

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

Andy: Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times thinks both will play this week - and he's out there watching them daily. Trust him. But that said, would be really nice to see these guys get into practice. None of them have been practicing so we have no real evidence to go on just yet.

jay (nyc)

is josh freeman good to go this week? would u start him vs jags d or big ben and cleveland's soft run d

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

jay: He says he is. This is another case where we'd like to see him throwing in practice before getting too confident. The good news is he was doing some very light throwing late last week. Was probably wise of them to hold him out for one week and get the extra rest.

Derrick (San Diego, CA)

Stephania...first off you are the best. PLEASE tell me that these conflicting reports of the Vikes possibly hanging AP up for the year are false. I get it, the Vikes are going nowhere, but do they not realize it's the Fantasy playoffs?

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Derrick: Thank you. Can't tell you about the conflicting reports b/c I haven't seen any credible report related to the idea of AP shutting it down. Leslie Frazier called him "close" to returning and while I might not be convinced of that, I don't think they're tanking his season for no reason. I think they take it a week at a time but stay mindful of his long-term health as the franchise player.

Chip (NC)

Hi Stephania- How much better do you think Beanie will be with Patrick Willis out? (Beanie's knee troubles aside)

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Chip: Obviously Willis out hurts the Niners Run D. I, for one, do not want to see the Cardinals get that first rushing TD, as a Niners fan. But they are going to really, really want it. Defense will still be solid but Wells, assuming his knee is on the better side Sunday, gets a little boost.

Dan (Natick, MA)

Julio Jones back to form? Deciding between him and Laurent Robinson.

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

Dan: He certainly looked to be. No evidence that the hamstring was holding him back and could have had more points than he did. Tough call with Laurent Robinson as he has been so productive but with Austin back in the mix it might (just a bit) cut into Robinson (although I think he's the preferred receiver of the 2 for the time being).

ZEKE (San Jose)

Crystal ball time: Hillis for Thursday? Or is it Hardesty? Or Ogbo. Or am I just in trouble anyway?

Stephania Bell
  (4:00 PM)

Zeke: You and me both. It looked like ti might be Hardesty. Then Hillis supposedly went through full practice today and Tuesday is always the big practice before Thursday. Browns indicating he is expected to start. You might be in trouble anyway but it appears Hilis will get the nod.

Dave (St. Croix)

This is injury question relates to how much pain my team looks to be in, but is it 100% Fred Davis will be suspended for the remainder of the regular season?

Stephania Bell
  (4:02 PM)

Dave: Sounds like the Redskins are waiting for a final answer as well. Should know by the end of the day.

Stephania Bell
  (4:02 PM)

OK everyone - thanks for coming. Time for me to move along. Appreciate all the great questions...Good Luck in Week 14 - for most of you it means you made it to the playoffs! Congratulations!