Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday morning, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to discuss all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Send your questions now and join Bell Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
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Sports Nation (11:06 AM)
Stephania Bell is on her way, having internet trouble at her hotel. She will be here as soon as it is resolved.
Stephania Bell (11:09 AM)
Good Morning Sports Nation! Ahhhhh - the joys of internet while on the road....I'm back in action after a few words with the Help Desk though - and let's get to your questions!
Stephania keep up the good work - is Portis finally healthy? I am debating benching him for Jerome Harrison this week. Your thoughts?
Stephania Bell (11:12 AM)
Johnny: Remember "healthy" is a relative term during the football season, but yes, it appears that Portis is healthy (or healthier) heading into Week 5. He is not on the practice injury report this week and so there do not appear to be concerns about his status heading into Week 5. and he's facing the Buccs - I'd be playing Portis.
Robert (New Jersey)
With the type of injury Hasselbeck has, is it possible he starts even if he is in pain and if so, is it possible to aggravate a rib injury enough to have him removed from the game? I need to have some idea before i commit to him on Sunday. Thank you
Stephania Bell (11:15 AM)
Robert: You are asking a popular question this morning. Yes, it's possible he starts - in fact, it's looking as if this will be the case - even though he's not going to be 100% pain-free. But he has looked strong in practice this week and it's looking more and more like he'll go. BUT - there's no way to predict if a guy can get knocked out of the game. Seattle is definitely concerned about providing enough protection for him - they've said it out loud. There is some risk there - but then again there's risk for every QB when they take any hit. So I don't think it's hugely increased. they may try to set up plays to get the ball out of his hands faster, but again you will be taking a bit of a risk, not huge, but it exists.
Is Brian Westbrook still banged up enough to justify starting LeSean McCoy in a RB2 capacity? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:17 AM)
Scott: I think McCoy's action takes a hit with Westbrook back - but how much is sort of an unanswerable question. McCoy is saying that he expects to play a backup role and see his touches go down with Westbrook in. Is he just being polite? I think it's true to a degree, Westbrook starts and iss featured, but I also think the Eagles brought McCoy here to offload westbrook and they're not going to ruin him in his first game back in a few weeks. It depends on your choices. I like McCoy better as a flex - but I still think he could be the goal line back in those situations - will still get you points.
Will Mendenhall (if healthy) maintain the starting gig in Pitt or will FWP get over his injury at some point and factor into the mix as well at some point?
Stephania Bell (11:19 AM)
Chuck: The Steelers are being very clear that Parker is their guy when he's healthy. The fact that they're stating this definitely makes it seem that Parker will be unable to go this week again with the turf toe (has not practiced all week) and Mendenhall will start again this week. He will mix it up with Parker when Parker comes back - but that timetable will be very fluid.
Portis is playing at Carolina this week...probably a typo on your part Stephania but just wanted to point out...wish he was playing the Bucs at full strength though.
Stephania Bell (11:20 AM)
Good job by you Eric: Yes, Panthers - but they have a poor run defense so Portis should be able to get some yards. Thanks for the correction.
Michael (Orange County)
With Taylor having surgery who will step into his place carrying the ball for the Patriots? Maroney or Morris?
Stephania Bell (11:20 AM)
Michael: I have to believe Sammy Morris gets the bulk of the work. He's run the ball better and they will likely look to him.
Hey Stephania, I'm considering a deal for Pierre Thomas, does he look fully healed, and should I be concerned at all about reinjury? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:22 AM)
Andrew: I think his performance shows that he is past the injury. If it's scarred in well enough we don't worry too much about re-injury. You worry more about the likelihood of that happening in the early phases of a guy's return to action. The further along it goes (the further the time away from the original injury), the less likelihood of reinjury.
What is the status on Calvin Johnson?
Stephania Bell (11:25 AM)
Taylor: He was back in limited practice thursday with the bruised thigh (which kept him out of practice weds) and I expect he'll play. Hopefully he does more Friday - they may list him as questionable - and as is often the case with a muscle injury - may come down to how it feels before the game.
Do people ever ask you for personal medical advice? Like how often is Bill from Pittsburgh telling you how he turned his ankel at his brother in laws pool party?
Stephania Bell (11:26 AM)
Sean: It's funny - I get asked a fair amount- even in the hallways at ESPN...but seriously, I can't give any medical advice over the internet - doesn't mean I don't care (I do!) but can only speak generally about injuries and treatment when I haven't been able to see the person.
Matt (Savannah, GA)
Hi Stephania. I'm a huge Steelers fan and my girlfriend kinda is too. But she only likes to watch them when Troy P. is playing. Mainly cause of the hair. Otherwise she tries to get me to change the channel. When will I be able to watch a game in peace?
Stephania Bell (11:28 AM)
Matt: I guess your girlfriend is like the interviewer in the Head and Shoulders commercial... I think there's a decent chance that we see polamalu this week, especially if he can put in a full practice today. He's been doing limited work this week after getting back to running last week. They need to see if he can do enough directional movement without pain and with good sharp, strong motion before they let him face contact.
Mike (NY, NY)
Matt should just play those Head and Shoulders commercials with Polamalu on youtube for his lady... question time: Derrick Mason - will he play on Sunday? Looks like he's nursing a neck injury, but hasn't missed a game in a couple of seasons...
Stephania Bell (11:30 AM)
Mike: Nice advice for Matt. Looks like Mason will be back - took part in some drills Thursday after sitting out Weds - and as you say, he has not missed since 2002. Nothing here (yet) to suggest it's serious.
Will Jamal Lewis factor into the equation or is it safe to start Jerome Harrison?
Stephania Bell (11:32 AM)
Connor: Lewis back on a limited basis, but unless he goes fully in practice today, I would bet that he ends up as questionable on the injury report. We know how finicky hamstrings can be and how hard it is to judge how far along a guy is as he just begins to get back into limited practice. My guess is that his activity will try to be increased and they may test him before the game. but I wouldn't be surprised if Harrison gets more work, even if Lewis attempts to go.
Stephania: It's time for the WWW (Weekly Wes Welker) Update! This just in: Bill Belichick hates fantasy owners.
Nick (South Dakota)
I was a professional bull rider, and damaged the cartilage in my ribs similar to Roy Williams. I know for me, I could ride, but it hurt like crazy after the adrenaline wore off. It took me over a year and a half to full recover from it. Do you see this being a nagging problem for Williams now?
Stephania Bell (11:35 AM)
AARgh! More internet snafus. OK - had to leave the room but I'm back.First - Cory: yes, I know fantasy not popular with the Ptriots' head coach - or Mangini -or Schwartz....but we press on. Welker is limited in practice this week, but I think they will continue to do this as the season moves along or until they are convinced that he is fully healthy. I am not aware of any setback and at this point expect him to play.
Stephania Bell (11:38 AM)
Now Nick: I hope everyone reads your post - it's always insightful to hear from someone who had the exact injury - even though we know injuries affect people differently and aren't exactly the same. Somehow it's easy to see how bull riding could result in rib injuries - and pain! Yes, this could linger throughout the season - as you know, you try to limit motion to help the cartilage heal - but it's very hard to limit motion when you play and absorb contact. So although it may not be as excruciating all year, I think there's a good chance that this gives him discomfort at the very least - for the rest of the season.
Chris (Lynchburg, VA)
Is Buckhalter out or in this week do you think? I'm trying to decide if I should start Moreno over Fred Jackson.
Stephania Bell (11:38 AM)
Chris: Yes, Buckhalter will likely be out as he hasn't practiced and I expect Moreno to get the start.
What's going on with Bradshaw's injury? This was the similar situation last week yet he played. Hows it looking for Sunday?
Stephania Bell (11:40 AM)
Mark: Based on what we learned about Bradshaw's ankle this last week (that it was chronic since college and that he responds to rest during the week) I think it's the same scenario. they rest him during the week, control any motion at the ankle and then let him go Sunday. Last week he practiced fully on Friday so I'll be looking to see if that happens again today - if it does, then I'm confident headed into Sunday.
How is Cotchery doing? He's questionable on the injury report all of a sudden! Is this a new injury or is this the Jets avoiding more fines from the league?
Stephania Bell (11:43 AM)
Stefan: Welcome to the chat from Nicaragua...I believe this is new since it just showed up Thursday - since they're a Monday night game their first report comes Thursday. We'll need to see what he does today.
Stephania Bell (11:44 AM)
Apologies to everyone for the answers not showing. Have answered on Jamal Lewis and Buckhalter - try refresh again - should pop up.
Stephania....I always read your chats but this is the first time I have ever asked a question. I know its not relavant to most people but do you think Kevin Boss is gonna play as I have Gates on a bye and I am gonna need a TE if he doesnt
Stephania Bell (11:45 AM)
Well Kaleb: Thanks for posting! Boss does not look good with the ankle injury - which sounded like it had the Giants a little more concerned when it happened. So I would make an alternate plan.
Babz (Aiken, SC)
So, can you diagnose the injury to your internet connection and how long it will be out?? :)
Stephania Bell (11:45 AM)
Greg (San Diego)
Has nobody asked about Eli or do you just feel you've said all there is to say and there's nothing new to add?
Stephania Bell (11:47 AM)
Greg: Oh - the questions are coming - but I was waiting for the breaking news...which is...that Eli is expected to practice today. Now before everyone gets all excited, we need to see what he can do. It's great that he's going to give it a shot, but this is a test. It may also be a test to see if they tape his arch a certain way, is it helping. Also they want to see what happens when he tries to spin after a fake handoff, then set his feet (how he injured it last week), what happens when he drops back, then plants his foot to throw. There's no way he fells "great", the question will be can he perform effectively?
Addai Questionable with a hand injury? What's going on?
Stephania Bell (11:50 AM)
Jim: have not heard a questionable designation yet. Addai was added to the injury report Thursday and all we've heard is that it's his hand. I'm trying to find out some specifics but none yet. hard to make a projection when it's not clear what it is - but I will say that limited practice is better than none - but it's not really known how much he handled the ball, if at all, which is naturally the thing we're wondering if he can do. I will try to update in my Sat blog.
Kevin Smith - Is he going to be OK with the shoulder for the season?
Stephania Bell (11:53 AM)
King: Don't know if I'm prepared to say he's fine for the whole season...but the fact that he's fully practiced each day so far this week makes his status for Sunday look pretty good. remember the Lions are mum about injuries and they have not given a clue as to what he has...although I've heard some rumblings about a deep bruise. In that case, time helps - so a week later I have to believe he's feeling better - supported by his increased practice this week.
Joe (Portland, OR)
Hi Stephania, What do you think about Bowe? Is he fully healed and safe to start?
Stephania Bell (11:54 AM)
Joe: Well, the best clue is that he's no longer on the injury report. So he can do everything in practice - meaning he did not go backwards after playing last week. Time only helps so he should be closer to full speed, full power this week.
Will Marion Barber get majority of the carries this week?
Stephania Bell (11:56 AM)
Larry: Not clear. Barber definitely improved over last week but not convinced - yet -that he's 100%. I imagine Choice still gets work, but I expect Barber to get more than last week (and last longer into the game).
Is Breaston's limited practice just a precaution? Do you expect that he will be able to play at the same level he did prior to the bye?
Stephania Bell (11:59 AM)
Chris: Certainly haven't heard that he's gone backwards -but these PCL injuries are harder to get over than people think. I think the resting during the week is somewhat precautionary...and I do expect him to play, but it's a bit worrisome in that you're not sure just how healthy he is..and how much he'll be used.
Now that they are saying Cadillac is the full time starter in TB, are you worried about the workload leading to an injury for him, or has he looked pretty healthy?
Stephania Bell (12:00 PM)
David: It's a reasonable question in that he's coming off two major surgeries in three years. I think he's clearly demonstrated he can perform - it's the endurance of repeated pounding. I think as long as he has some additional running back support (from a Ward or a Graham) it will help keep him in the lineup.
Hi Stephania, I've been offered Portis for Moreno. Both have been banged up a bit this year. It seems they are both healthy now although Moreno did get forced to the sidelines with a hit to the knee last week and Portis's ankles appear to be a season-long concern. My question is do you do this deal?
Stephania Bell (12:01 PM)
Bill: I like Moreno - youth and upside - better. So no, I don't do it...
Ryan (Washington DC)
Is McNabb safe to start or should I go with the safer Flacco with less upside?
Stephania Bell (12:03 PM)
Ryan: I think the confidence early in the week from Reid suggests that McNabb clearly feels well enough to play. So yes, McNabb is a safe start.
Matt (At My Desk)
Hey S: Do you think Fast Willie most likely sits, I need to decide between Mendenhall or Ronnie Brown as my RB2
Stephania Bell (12:04 PM)
Yes Matt, Willie likely sits. Mendenhall is your better option in my opinion.
Stephania Bell (12:05 PM)
Mike: Benson says his hip is fine and he'll play. I want to see what he does in Friday practice to be convinced but it sounds like he'll be fine.
Stephania Bell (12:06 PM)
OK everyone - I have to go. Thanks for your patience this morning. Love all the questions you bring each week. Remember I'll have a Saturday blog with the latest updates and we chat injuries Sunday at 10 a.m. Good luck in Week 5!!!