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October 9, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Pierre Becquey
  (10:42 AM)

Please excuse Stephania, she will be delayed 10 to 15 minutes for this chat. She is doing T.V. segments related to Cedric Benson and Brian Cushing, but will be here as soon as she can to take your Week 6 injury questions.

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Good morning all - and thanks for your patience. My, my, my...never a dull moment when it comes to the injuries. As usual, some players are still undergoing testing on Tuesday but there are some who have already been ruled out for this week. Including Cedric Benson, the latest addition to the Lisfranc list.

Cedric (Philly)

Hows Aaron Hernandez looking for next week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Cedric: This is still early for him. Originally projected at 4-6 weeks, this would be 4. It depends what he's able to do in practice and if there are any setbacks and if they trust his ankle enough to face contact. Last week his practice was all individual work. I expect that he's out another week.

Joe (NY)

Update on Vincent Brown? Worth keeping stashed in a deep league?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Joe: The team has been keeping it quiet since he's not practicing with the team yet. He can practice (I believe) after 6 weeks so we should get a feel for how his ankle actually looks soon. So far, the team maintains that he is right on schedule. With the way injuries are going, if you've hung onto him this long, I'd keep him.

Jason (Birmingham)

Any soreness for Mendenhall?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Jason: Apparently not, at least none worth mentioning. It would be normal for him to have some post-game soreness just from doing work that he hasn't done in almost a year. But there was nothing major, no setbacks and he is expected to play Thursday night.

sn1p3r31 (Georgia)

Despite the fact he cost me two match-ups this week, I can't deny my love for Jimmy Graham. What do you think about his ankle based on what you "saw" from the game?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Well, he definitely looked to be struggling a bit once he came back in. But on a fresh ankle sprain that doesn't surprise me. I still think it's a good sign that he could even get back in the game, so there's that. If you can say anything about his timing, it was very good in that he gets the bye week to rest. Doesn't sound like the Saints anticipate him missing time at this point.

Gladys (Georgia)

What's up with Jerome Simpson?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Gladys: Not good news. Numbness and weakness in his leg. PRoblem is coming from his back (pressure on a nerve causing the symptoms he's experiencing). He was slated for more tests today but given the severity of his symptoms, I would not be surprised if he misses time.

Jake (Cleveland)

You think there's any chance Hakeem plays this week? (Please don't tell me "we won't know anything until Thursday!")

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Jake: Shall I just make something up then and put it in here? When the guy only practices one day a week and that day is Thursday and the coach says he won't know anything until they see whether he can practice, I'm not sure what you want me to invent. All we know for sure is that he had an MRI done on his knee and that so far, no one has shared any specifics related to that. Team continues to approach it one day at a time and as long as his activity level is zero (in terms of practice), there isn't anything solid to report.

Jesse (Charlotte, NC)

Do you think Britt sees more snaps Thursday night?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Jesse: This is an exasperating one. I have to believe he gets more than two catches if he is indeed progressing. Sunday was a very surprising decision to have him active and clearly he didn't really do anything until late in the game. My feeling is that there is still great talent there but he until we see he is really in good football shape and past the latest injury woes, it's hard to start him with confidence.

Ben (DC)

My disappointment with Andre: Any chance the groin is to blame for the lackluster performance of my #1 WR? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Ben: Don't think it's the groin per se. The only thing is he's been held out of practice to protect him and I'm wondering if all the drops are related to that. He's too good for that to continue so have to believe it changes.

Todd (NJ)

Assume Best is cleared by his dr's/testing, what is an expected time frame to get back into "game day condition"?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Todd: This is a good question b/c he hasn't taken the practice field with his team in almost a year. We are hearing that he is in phenomenal shape and there are all sorts of positive comments about how he's doing but as we've seen over and over, things are always different when you jump back into the actual sport of football. I would think they would want to get him acclimated but if he's cleared, then able to return to practice without a setback, then I wouldn't be surprised if they use him right away.

Brian (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Any idea if Heyward-Bey will get back on the field this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Brian: He was cleared for contact and apparently was "very active" in practice Monday. If he practices consecutive days without any recurrence of symptoms, I think it's very likely he returns this weekend.

Max (NYC)

How do you feel about RG3 playing this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Max: Well, it's not really about how I feel...the bottom line is that even though Cousins said he "looked fine" and even though RGIII said he felt fine, there are other determinants as to whether he can play. He needs to pass his neurocognitive tests and he needs to demonstrate no recurrence of symptoms as he resumes activity. Final step is independent clearance by neurological consultant. So there is a ways to go.

Benson owner (CLE)

Will Starks be ready to go this week as a replacement for Benson?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Don't know that Starks is the out and out replacement. I expect Starks will get the start (remember he's been out with a turf toe injury) but they will perhaps have him split work with Green. ANd then Starks has to show he can handle the setbacks with the toe and just stay healthy in general, something that's been a challenge for him.

Mike (TX)

How bad did Alex Smith hurt his throwing hand?

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Mike: They're calling it a sprain of his middle finger but there's no indication which joint it is or how severe. Harbaugh made it sound like it was "of concern" which is interesting since he rarely comments on injuries (making me think he WANTS the Giants to think it's a concern). Smith not wearing any protection on it yesterday, expect it will be taped in practice. Not seeing this being a huge threat right now.

Kevin (Atlanta)

Thoughts on Amendola injury - time frame for return? How about G. Jennings as well? I'm in a world of WR hurt.

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Kevin: I'm sorry. Wish I could offer you some more hope. But I'm not seeing anything definitive with either guy. Amendola is worrisome because it's an impossible area to protect, he has no major ligament damage according to the MRI but he still stretched soft tissue there and it needs to heal. It has to heal to the degree where everyone is comfortable that if he lands hard on it, it can absorb the blow. And with his history of soft tissue injuries (last year dislocated elbow and triceps injury), I'm thinking he gets a little longer to recover (hard for me to see him back before 6 weeks). As for Jennings, after re-injury also think he waits the extra bit of time before coming back. Not that we know what that means in terms of actual time b/c he needs to test it. But at least this week, prob another.

Douglas (Pittsburgh)

Martellus Bennett in any danger of missing this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Douglas: Think it's possible. He struggled through after hyperextending his knee but he was in pain and was set to undergo further testing today. Sooooo...we wait and see, but I'd plan for a backup just in case.

Drake (Toronto )

Any word on the severity of All Day's ankle?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Drake: A mild sprain, which is good, but it is to the same leg that has the reconstructed knee. Just means they want to be extra careful. Suspect he'll be limited in practice but it sounds as if the team does not expect him to miss time.

Eric (Boston)

Any updates on Garcon? He wasn't very effective this week - wondering if the foot will continue to bother him all season.

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Eric: Well, it's like a lot of these injuries in the NFL. Once a guy can get back out there, he usually does, even though he may not be 100%. So you only get a portion of the player you're accustomed to seeing. Garcon already said he wasn't at full strength and might not be for a while but he also said he was improving. There's ALWAYS a chance when you're playing at 100% that something in the game happens to send you backwards. So far with him, he says that hasn't happened. But it might be a few weeks of that before we see the Garcon we expect.

Kyle (Bristol)

Any word on the injury to Jermichael Finley?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Kyle: Only that it is his shoulder and McCarthy said yesterday there's a "chance" he plays. The meaning I interpret to be "we'll see how he does in practice and then we'll decide whether he's ready to play"

Chad (IL)

Lance moore? concerned or should he be ok after the bye?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Chad: Don't think these hamstring injuries are ever automatic. The hope is that the bye is enough to allow him to get past it but you know the drill (exhibit A: Miles Austin, or, Andre Johnson), we don't know until we actually see him back and playing successfully.

Alex (Philly)

Follow-up on Nicks: Do you think this time off may have allowed his foot to heal? What's the bigger issue, the knee or the foot?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Alex: I think it's certainly helped. The issues aren't inseparable b/c a problem with the knee can force him to change his gait, which could then subject his foot to greater load, something you don't want when he's still technically in recovery mode post-surgery. So that, I believe, is why you continue to see the two injuries listed together. But the knee right now is a greater concern to me because of the uncertainty. Why is it still swollen? Is there something within the joint that is going to be problematic for the rest of the year? I am holding onto Nicks until I learn the knee is something major but I'm definitely concerned. If it was only the foot I wouldn't be(See Week Two).

Ryan (Philly)

Forte's ankle feeling good after all that work?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Ryan: Apparently! This was a much better outing for him. Looks to be in good shape as far as the ankle...still not out of the woods completely in my opinion but certainly further along.

Mark (NJ)

Howling or Smith or Powell healthy enough to pick up the slack in the AZ backfield (putting aside, whether they have the talent)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Mark: Howling is expected to play this week after missing two games with a hip flexor injury. Powell may have a concussion so his status is unclear. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic thinks the team will need to sign another back so it's hard to get invested in any one guy at the moment.

Karen (Aptos) (Aptos)

Hey Fellow NorCal lady, Any thoughts on Locker out until after his Week 11 bye? THANKS!

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Karen: Love Aptos. Lucky you! According to the Tennessean, Locker seems to be targeting a Week 7 return which is earlier than expected after his second dislocation episode. Still need to see that to believe it but that's the latest.

Corey (Pitt)

Any update on Polamalu or Woodley's injuries?

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Corey: Both likely out for this Thursday (POlamalu for sure, Woodley likely). Polamalu looks to be multi-week as this is now a chronic problem. Woodley sounds less severe, calling it a "mild" hamstring strain.

Stephania Bell
  (12:05 PM)

OK everyone - time for me to exit the chat room. Thanks so much for coming. Stay tuned for updates throughout the week and we will chat again on Friday morning.