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November 9, 11:15 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Good morning and happy Friday! Hope your week is going well. Lots of injury concerns all around so let's get to your questions...

11 AM (Is a state of mind)

How long do you think Antonio Brown's injury is going to keep him sidelined? Is this going to be like the Hernandez injury, where the timeline for his return gets as delayed as an ESPN chat?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

First, almost didn't answer due to the insulting nature of the post...but check the chat time on Sports Nation. It was moved to 11:15 specifically so we could start on time after Friday tapings.But since others might be curious about Brown, no timeline from the team on Brown's injury although Tomlin did say out of the gate that it was a mild sprain. His injury wasn't as severe in appearance as Hernandez' sprain was and would not be surprised if he's back in a week or two (if all goes well)

David (Vegas)

Stephania, as a fellow sports PT, I really am proud that you are a key member of the ESPN staff. Do you agree that Mendenhall is still the long term Pitt rb to own ROS at this point?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

David: Thanks, fellow sports PT. THe RB coach for Steelers came out and said Mendenhall will be the starter, once healthy. Think that was partially a clue that he is out again this week but might be coming back next week. If so he'll start. BUT, they also maintain they will play the guy who has the hot hand. I like Mendenhall's chances of putting up a late season push in terms of productivity and they are allowing him the necessary time to recover and be able to do that.

Jason (Boston)

Just traded for Nicks in a buy low scenario...hopefully i didn't buy a dud the rest of the season!! Whats your take?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Jason: I still think Nicks is going to deliver and be a high performing guy for final third of the season. I have been higher on him than most and of course the knee injury was an unexpected surprise, but a buy low is the ideal way to get him.

Alex (PA)

Obligatory DeMarco Murray question for the week. Would you say he misses week 10, and is active for week 11? Thanks!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Alex: Yes on missing this week. Not ready to say he is back next week. Although he is back on the practice "field" he only did some light individual work. Let's see how he progresses through the next week. Always different once you start pushing the foot with running.

Eric (West Palm Beach)

As an ATC, I'm curious to know your thoughts on the severity of Harvin's ankle injury before pulling the trigger on a trade in my 12 Team PPR league. Your insight would be greatly appreciated!

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Eric: Welcome, and thanks for all you and your colleagues do in the sports medicine world. The team hasn't issued a "grade" so we're operating based on observation, but the crutches, his discussion about the amount of pain and significant swelling he had and the "sprain in 3 places," his difficulty in walking normally still...all sounds very Grade 2 like to me. Although they left the door open for this weekend, I'm somewhat skeptical and if he does play, I'm still skeptical. But he's definitely a tough kid and with the treament he'll get, etc, I think he'll be productive within a couple weeks.

Mark (Portland, OR)

Is Owen Daniels worth holding out hope for on Sunday night, or play it safe if you have Gates. Both are close, but Daniels has been the more reliable producer.

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Mark: GIven that choice I go with Gates. It's easy for the risk averse person in me with Daniels' Sunday night status. Sounds like he bruised his pelvis (it's called a back injury on the report, Kubiak said like a hip pointer on his back side) and he has yet to practice. Kubiak said he can play without practicing but it's not convincing that he'll be feeling that great by Sunday. Could be limited.

Tyler (Baltimore)

Knowing how hard your 49ers hit, how effective can we expect Amendola to be on Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Tyler: Ahhh..the podcast reference. Thank you. The thing about Amendola is he's been confident for a couple weeks now and has said his strength and range of motion are all normal. That's great news BUT the major concern is if he lands hard on that shoulder/clavicle, does the SC joint hold up? Is there a worry that it subluxes? These are things that can't be answered until he literally hits the ground hard and we see how he does. You can pad the area but hard to completely protect the joint, so...I think he can run and catch and I wouldn't be opposed to starting him. And then cross fingers.

Thomas (NC)

Speaking of Hernandez, is he finally back to 100% or will he be hit and miss the rest of the year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Thomas: Don't know that we can call him 100% when they are still limiting his practice activity. The issue before london was that he was continuing to struggle with cutting maneuvers, couldn't really get past a plateau. We haven't seen him in action since so we don't know whether that's improved. The rest should have helped but he may be hit and miss for another couple weeks.

Matt (Boston)

Marshawn Lynch listed as Questionable and DNP on Thursday. Seems out of the blue, I picked up Turbin but should I be worried?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Matt: He's been on the injury report nearly every week and we haven't worried because he's played through the back ailment and it hasn't really appeared to be an issue since the preseason. The problem is now he is also listed with a "wrist" ailment but no one has spoken of it. Carroll will usually address what's on there but there hasn't been a word. Want to see what happens Friday as I expect him to play. (The lack of comment by Carroll also makes me think it's not THAT bad.) Unfortunately, we're a little stuck here without any further info.

Scott (DFW)

two injury questions: how viable will Stevie Johnson be this weekend, will the bruise alter his game? also, whats the status on Jordy, hows the ankle, hammy? THANKS, Great chat!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Scott: Thank YOU. I think Johnson should be fine. Fully expect him to play. He has followed the routine this week that we anticipated: no practice Weds, light practice THurs and we'll see what he does today. He did say that he felt much better yesterday than he did to start the week. As for Jordy, with the team on bye there is no formal update and I won't expect any info until next week. However, McCarthy did say early on that he expects him to be fine for Week 11.

Steve (NC)

I've read that DMC and Goodson were both in a walking boot for their high ankle sprains and did not practice. That doesn't bode well for their chances this week but what about after that?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Steve: No word out of Oakland on the severity of their injuries although I am working on that. The degree of injury would give us a much better idea as to how much time they would likely miss. A boot is not an uncommon treatment immediately given the diagnosis, regardless of severity, because it puts the ankle in a position that decreases stress through the joint. In other words, week-to-week.

jon (ny)

Is it worth holding on to Greg Jennings?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Jon: I think it is. Expect him back in December (of course, if all goes well) and he could be useful in a playoff push.

Randy (Tha Dimas)

How is Dez' hip? With all those targets he gets is this the week he comes through big?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Randy: He's been practicing fully every day. Not hearing any concern this week out of Dallas as to his availability. We knew he wasn't feeling great heading into last week. Imagine he's still getting treatment but it's not affecting his practice routine at all. I'm sure they'd like him to come through big. Chances are much better this week.

Tim (DC)

Stephania, thanks for the chat. After that debacle of a performance from Jennings last night, I'm even more desperate for MJD to return. Is there any timeline for him to come back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Tim: Thank you... Lots of folks asking about MJD and apparently on NFL Network last night it was reported that he said he thought he was "about 2 weeks away." Don't think he'd float that out there if it wasn't within the realm of possibility BUT I put a lot of stock in his use of the word "about," meaning it could be longer. Earlier this week it was reported he's still in boot and using push cart to get around. That means not walking full WB all the time, which is a far cry from running and then game play. Maybe he moves through the progression fairly swiftly, but I'd be a bit surprised if it's 2 weeks, maybe more on the order of 3-4.

Mike (Cube)

Any concerns that Brandon Myers might miss this weekends game?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Mike: All the concern in Oakland seems to be around the RBs. Even though Myers has been limited, appears he's in line to play.

Austin (Buffalo)

What is going on with Pierre Garcon? Is he making any progress? I read a quote from Shanahan saying that "doctors can't explain why it." when it comes to the pain from his there any way he comes back 100% this year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Austin: I said a couple weeks ago that I wouldn't be surprised if his season is over. Once the information came out that he had a plantar plate injury, my outlook was more grim. It's just not tissue that heals well on its own. I know he wants to avoid surgery but I'm not sure he can. Think they're giving him the one last hurrah (and it really becomes whether he can play and be effective in the presence of pain, which continues to flare up because the joint is unstable) but I don't have much confidence.

Funita (Madison)

Off of IR, who's the better pick: Benson or Wells? Benson has more upside, but Wells will be useful sooner

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Funita: This is a really good question and you've essentially answered it. I have never been high on Wells b/c of the injuries and I know he has said he feels good and expects to be back asap but he's still coming off a significant turf toe injury and I need to see proof. Of course, Benson coming off a major foot injury but I like the progress we're hearing about. Think he has a good chance to be effective once he's back but if you need to do something immediately to try to make playoffs, then it's too long of a wait.


Since its pretty clear Antonio Brown will not play, when will his status change to being out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

JT: Once team actually rules him out.

Collin1079 (West Chester pa)

Whats with Bradshaw is he ever going to be 100% this year? Can we see more work from him this week around goalline? Also, who you like better Hartline or Floyd? Thanks for everything!

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Collin: Don't know if we do. But he does play every week (well, almost every week) because he manages himself well during the week. I think there will be a push from him (and some depends on how well he's running in the game) to garner more carries, esp in scoring situations. And I like Floyd.

Dave (Cambridge)

Stephania, on the Amendola analysis- is the finger crossing just going to be a thing Amendola owners do for the rest of the season or will the joint get stronger/safer with more time?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Dave: The longer he goes without a setback, the more the confidence on the overall healing increases. Of course, the best will be the offseason for ensuring it's fully healed but it can still progress as the season goes on.

Cal Lipthrott (Atlanta)

Dows Sproles play this sunday? If not, how much longer do you think he's out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Cal: Put it this way, I'd be very surprised. We haven't yet heard about today's practice session so I suppose if he's out there today, it will add to the speculation. But I'm getting the feeling we're another week away.

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Couple good news updates: Eagles RB L McCoy and Lions WRs T Young and C Johnson all back in practice today. Good omen.

Ben (Charlotte)

Bush seems to be in a complete 50/50 split in MIA's backfield ... is there a lingering injury concern here?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Ben: I suspect the knee issue (and perhaps the hip as well) are a part of the reason we've seen the split. And Thomas finally being healthy. Wish I could tell you whether it will stay this way or change but as long as Thomas is adding something to the mix, I expect he'll continue to absorb some of the load.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Well, that's it for me. Have to jump on the radio now. Thanks so much for coming to the chat!! We'll update everyone in the Saturday blog. Good luck in Week 10!!!