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September 3, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:04 PM)

Hello everyone and welcome to the chat! I will be momentarily answering your questions. See several in the queue.

Ryan (Philly)

Do you feel the Dwyer release means Bell may be back in October?

Stephania Bell
  (3:06 PM)

Ryan: Thought all along Bell would likely return by October. What's interesting is his saying he thinks he could return by Week 2! He was quick to add that he wasn't making any promises. And he shouldn't. It's great he's doing well but the big test will be when he has to start running/cutting/twisting on that foot. Plan on not having hin im September but keep a close eye on his progress.

Stephania Bell
  (3:07 PM)

Interesting breaking news from my colleagu Bill Williamson. WR Robert Meachem apparently on the verge of signing with the Saints (reunites him with Drew Brees).

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

I don't know what you are planning on doing in the chat today, but please give good answers that are relevant, and about players that actually matter. Give us some groundbreaking news and not just a bunch of guesses.

Stephania Bell
  (3:08 PM)

Oh, OK Bryan. I will be sure to not guess.

Josh (MD)

Is Gronk worth taking if I expect him back week 3?

Stephania Bell
  (3:10 PM)

Josh: Based on the fact we're seeing him in pads, at least initiating practice workouts, I would take that as a very encouraging sign. And as long as you have a capable fill in (like a Jared Cook for instance, who you perhaps could get in later rounds) for a few weeks, Gronk (who seems most likely to return sometime around the Week 4 mark based on his current activity) should deliver in the latter 2/3 of the season.

Joseph (Sacramento River Cats)

Regarding the surgery that EJ Manuel got...what is the normal timetable for that surgery? - not sure on what was done to help with the left knee swelling. Appreciate the insight!

Stephania Bell
  (3:13 PM)

Joseph: Go 'Cats! The team did not officially say although the rumblings are clean up of a small meniscus tear. A small tear can be like a hangnail inside the joint. Just enough to keep irritating it and causing swelling. Sounds like they will make their decision after Weds practice but I heard he was moving well when he first returned to practice. Sounds encouraging.

Hank (TX)

Isn't NO NEWS about MJD essentially Good News? He's the same guy he was in 2011 right ?

Stephania Bell
  (3:14 PM)

Hank: THere was some news. Last week we ran a piece I did when I visited him last Sunday. Saw his foot up close with my own eyes and more importantly, saw how well he was moving - running/cutting, etc, all without issue. I think he's looking to repeat his 2011 effort.

Harry (IND)

Miles Austin is pain free. You trust him to play all 16 games at a high level?

Stephania Bell
  (3:16 PM)

Harry: Well, it's a no-win answer. Any number of variables can lead to an injury we could never see coming. But I will say that the training regimen he has undergone this offseason and the preseason plan they had for him has him as healthy as he can be heading into the year. I certainly like his chances.

Pete (PA)

Any concerns for Brandon Marshall?

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Pete: Not excessive ones. I think the fact he has had multiple hip surgeries (both hips have been operated on) raise a bit of concern. But based on how he says his last checkup went for the latest surgery, no immediate concerns.

BJInIndiana (Lowell)

How is Malcolm Floyd progressing?

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

BJ: Back in practice and it looks like he's doing well enough to play Week One.

Joe (NY)

I drafted Marcus Lattimore in a keeper league and would love to get him in the IR slot so I can pick someone up. Any update on what SF's plan with him designation-wise is going to be?

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Joe: Several people asking that question. The Niners hinted at not using him at all this season which makes you think they might designate him for IR. Then again, Harbaugh just recently commented on the strides he has made. It's possible they keep their options open to use him later in the season (into potentially postseason). Probably won't get any better hints from Harbaugh until he actually makes the designation.

Beavis (Buttheadville)

I have read that R Mathews during the offseason wasnt trying to bulk up but instead was working on being quicker with his feet. Can this help his delicate body or expect the same from him this year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

Beavis: I know he's tried some different things each offseason. So far, it obviously hasn't worked. His history probably speaks louder than anything making it hard to envision him playing all 16 games. No one will buy it until he's able to actually do it.

Mike (Philly)

Hi Stephania - Any update on Jason Castro? Is he expected to miss any significant time during this crucial playoff week?

Stephania Bell
  (3:25 PM)

Mike: The update per is that he has a cyst on the medial side of his knee. Cysts usually develop as a result of something irritating the knee (like a meniscus). So until that is addressed probably won't fully improve. The question will be whether he can return to function as a catcher or not. He is day to day and I wouldn't count on him.

Steve (Ma )

Rundmc...coming in healthy? Love him when he is on the field. Are some guys just injury prone? Where would u draft him this year? Thanks for your insight!

Stephania Bell
  (3:28 PM)

Steve: I agree that DMC has shown flashes at time that make him exciting to watch. But he falls in the Mathews category. His history confirms that he has trouble staying on the field. Hard to expect consistency from him. He was on my do not draft list -just my bias.

Josh (Montreal)

BASEBALL!!! What's the update on Carlos Gonzalez? Any chance of him returning to help my playoff run?

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Josh: Up in the air now after his latest rehab start was cancelled. The finger is obviously still an issue and we knew it would be (potentially) for the remainder of the season. Sounds like they might just watch and wait. Plug him in when he's not having symptoms. Makes it hard to count on unless you can set a lineup daily.

Andrew (Arizona)

Hi Stephania, any update on Arian Foster's progress? I know he will not get many snaps week 1 but is he still worth a #2 overall pick in the draft?

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

Andrew: Absolutely. And I wouldn't count on the "not many" snaps in Week One. I've said before that all top RBs are injury risk b/c of the nature of the position. Foster does have a history of some soft tissue injuries but hasn't missed a significant amount of playing time in his career. The talent upside outweighs the relative risk.

Jerry (DEEP South)

Stephania types slower than a possum covered in molasses.

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

It may surprise you Jerry but I actually THINK before I type.

tc (toronto)

Any reason to be concerned about Jordy Nelson? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

tc: Mostly concerned (and this is relative concern) about time to get into football shape prior to the start of the season. Waiting to hear how he looks in Weds practice (will be biggest practice to date and impt leading to Week One status).

Eric (Boston)

Stephania - any word on Hakeem Nicks? Is he 100% healthy after last year and ready to produce like he did a few years back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

Eric: Well, he had a minor groin strain already in the preseason. Serves as a reminder that he is going to be intermittently plagued by some of these injuries. But I will say that this is perhaps the "big picture" healthiest he's been in a few years. We know when he's healthy he can produce so would like (and expect) to see some big things out of the gate. The real challenge will be whether he can stay on the field.

Cole (ND)

Are Harvin or Crabtree worth stashing for later in the season?

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

Cole: I wouldn't be using a roster spot in a non-keeper league on either. Both, assuming they come back late November/early December, will be ramped up gradually in a return to play. May be valuuable for theire teams, less so for fantasy. The other thing is that in most leagues they're likely to be available later. Use the spot for something else now. Go back to them if you have the space in a couple months.

Bobby (Rochester NY)

Pierre Garcon has declared his troublesome foot/toe "100 percent."You think hes 100 percent?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Bobby: I think he feels 100 percent. But it's not a guarantee that the toe is problem-free. If his cleats catch in the grass or he shears that toe on a cut, it's possible the problem returns. Remember he chose not to undergo surgery because there was no guarantee it would eliminate the problem. So without surgery, there's no guarantee either.

Tom (Indy)

StephaniaI was curious if there was any concern with Randall Cobb's bicep injury.

Stephania Bell
  (3:41 PM)

Tom: The main concern is not seeing him play so don't know how it will affect him - if at all - when he gets in a game. My concern is more where the injury is on the biceps tendon - if it's up high near the labrum attachment, then an awkward landing could flare it up to the point of making it problematic raising his arm overhead.

Ryan (Stephaniaville,Fla.)

Updates on status on Kemp/D.Wright! Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (3:45 PM)

Ryan: Kemp not doing as well as the Dodgers had hoped. It's unclear what the issue is, whether it's actually his ankle or just him not being comfortable in general at the plate, but either way he's going to the AZ instructional league. They're doing well enough they can afford to wait.Wright, doing better than expected. Sounds like rehab has progressed to baseball activities and he could return within a couple weeks (very fluid).

Will (MN)

What's your take on Andre Brown's setback? It sounded like he'd be 4-6 weeks max, now IR designated to return and won't be back 'til Week 10, what might've set him back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:48 PM)

Will: Don't think that he actually had a setback. Think this was likely a decision that was arrived at by evaluating what they thought about his injury - and his overall injury history, what their thoughts are on David Wilson and what he can do and how they can best use roster slots. I think he could have come back sooner; now it avoids any pressure to return soon. He can practice after 6 weeks and can return at 8.

gumbo ya ya (new orleans)

A. Bradshaw is going to play in week 1, is he a risky start?? And do you think he will make it thru an entire season

Stephania Bell
  (3:50 PM)

One thing about Bradshaw is that he has shown he can play through a lot. Last year despite all the foot issues he only missed time because of a stinger. I go back to my standard answer that it would be crazy to project any RB to make it through an entire season. Too many uncontrolled variables.

Kevin (Syracuse NY)

is there any concern over Cruz's heel or should he be ok for week 1?

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Kevin: Not a lock but his improvement is making a good case for him being ready. He said he cut hard and felt nothing in the heel - a bit surprising but obviously good news.

Joe (Chicago)

Really quiet in Toronto regarding Bautista. Will Joey Bats be back before the end of the year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

Joe: The plan all along was two weeks of rest and rehab before they re-evaluated him. When they're in treatment you really don't hear much so not a surprise that it's been quiet. Unfortunately that also means we don't have much to go on.

EJ (Charlotte)

Fowler and Dom Brown on my roster! Any chance they return soon/status?

Stephania Bell
  (3:54 PM)

EJ: Fowler sounds like he is approaching a return, maybe within next few days. Brown aggravated his Achilles Friday night and now no obvious timetable for his return.

Matt (NY)

is there still concern over Jamaal Charles' foot?

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Matt: No. He's been doing well since returning from the strained tendon. Should be fine heading into the season.

Taylor (Virginia)

Aside from you meeting with him in the offseason, is there any specific reason to be wary of DeMarco Murray's health for this season?

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Taylor: Nope. That's pretty much the biggest threat to his health. He seemed to not be concerned about the curse. He also knows everyone is looking for him to get through a season unscathed. No way for him to totally control it but the Cowboys have indicated they have confidence in him. More pasing plays scripted for him in addition to ball carries.

Bobby (Rochester NY)

Any news on the Cowboys backup RB, Dunbar?

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Bobby: not in a boot but not practicing yet either. Not appearing ready for Week 1 availability, at least not yet.

john (mass)

BASEBALL!! Afternoon Stephania! hear any news on MiggyCab? thx

Stephania Bell
  (4:00 PM)

john: Tough situation with him. This injury (hip/abd/groin) is going to be with him until the offseason; that much is clear. Now the Tigers have to figure out how to optimize his use. Think they're going to rely on how he feels on a day to day basis and whether he thinks he can play. For fantasy owners it means you're probably not going to get a full week out of him and he's at risk for getting pulled if it flares up.

David (Fairfax, Va)

Love the info Steph! Does Chip Kelly's offense lend itself to Vick getting hit or to just quick plays. I have heard and seen that the goal is to get the ball out of the QB's hands quick and to the playmakers. This seems different than the spread option run by Carolina and Washington which put a emphasis on the QB running. Any thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (4:03 PM)

David: Thank you. From the outings I watched this preseason it sure seemed like Kelly's offense favored Vick. And he did seem to be unloading the ball more quiokly. I was at the Jacksonville game where Vick made a nice running play but then showed he would slide at the end (it was a bit awkward but he did it). Perhaps he's gotten the message after being fairly injury plagued the last few years.

Stephania Bell
  (4:04 PM)

Thanks to all for coming to the chat. Will be adding in the Friday chats (probably late morning) for football season. As always, will continue with the updates on Twitter: @Stephania_ESPN.