Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to chat all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Bell is a physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist as well as being a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She is a clinician, author and teacher with extensive experience in sports medicine. An avid fantasy player, Bell spent time at Rotowire.com and on XM Radio's fantasy sports show before joining ESPN.
Bell earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Master's in physical therapy from the University of Miami. A native of San Francisco, Bell roots shamelessly for the 49ers and Giants.
Send your questions now and join Bell Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
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Stephania bell (3:04 PM)
Hi gang: I am joining you by iPad today (my laptop is under the weather) so hopefully we will stay connected. Can only imagine how many injury issues your playoff teams must have...
I know you said it would be an absolute guess on the podcast last week, but what percentage do you have on Aaron Rodgers playing this week?
Stephania bell (3:06 PM)
Pat: still a guess BUT we should know a lot tomorrow. He is meeting with team docs. This all hinges on medical clearance. If not cleared, he's out, it's simple. If cleared, it will be whether he's game ready (which we know will not be an issue for him, even if they try to keep us guessing.
Dear Stephania: PLEASE give me some good news about Reggie Bush. I lost Bush & AP during my first round bye.
Stephania bell (3:09 PM)
Zach: tough blow, not getting easier b/c they don't play until Monday night, meaning they could keep us wondering all week. No injury report from them until Thursday. Bush did not speak with reporters post-game and Schwartz called him day to day. In other words, we have nothing right now. You should prepare to have someone else in his place.
Rashad Jennings looks good to go this week, so my question is do you think McFadden plays this week? If so, how do you think the carries would be split?
Stephania bell (3:12 PM)
Joe: the way Allen was talking early last week, they sounded very uncertain about DMC and when he might be available. I am not assuming that he's ready to go. He definitely would need to show in practice he could go. If Jennings continues feeling well, he appears on track to play.
I lost Gronk, so need a replacement TE for (hopefully) 2 weeks. Do you think Welker will be back for week 16, or will Tamme still have slot duties for weeks 15 and 16?
Stephania bell (3:16 PM)
Jim: I wish I could answer that but of all possible injuries these are the least predictable. Obviously there is concern with this being his second concussion in a month and he will be monitored closely, but it's impossible to say he will miss X amount of time.
Stephania: Adrian Peterson seems to have superhuman healing powers, but a return this week seems like a very long longshot. Do you think Toby Gerhart will be good to go this week?
Stephania bell (3:18 PM)
Zach: if only we knew how severe gerhart's injury was, but it happened so late in the game that it was almost an afterthought. We'll see what he does in practice, they called it a "tweak" making it sound like no big deal, but whether that was wishful thinking or not, hard to know. And I agree with you, unlikely to see AP fit his week.
Pablo (Santa Fe)
Hi Stephania, Any word on Lacy's ankle? The matchup vs. the Cowboys is so enticing! Thanks
Stephania bell (3:21 PM)
Pablo: many people agree with you which is why his uncertain status is causing a lot of angst for fantasy owners. McCarthy's comment Monday that it was just too soon to be able to predict his availability wasn't super encouraging. They need to win. I have a hard time imagining him sitting out. He certainly gutted it out this week. But I don't expect him to be 100 percent.
Hi Stephania,Any word on Cobb? Do you think he plays week 16? Thank you.
Stephania bell (3:25 PM)
Glenn: there is supposed to be some sort of decision happening today. Remember he has not been cleared to practice. Our Rob Demovsky reported last week that Cobb's injury was to his tibia, not his fibula as originally reported. Sounds like they are not confident he can absorb the pounding of running yet and if he can't even run by now, tough to imagine he's available week 16.
Question about Julio Jones - do you know if he is expected to be healthy at the start of the year next year? Picked him up off waivers and thinking of keeping him, but also have other really good options.
Stephania bell (3:26 PM)
John: I think they're very hopeful. No way to guarantee it for sure but I like his chances.
MJD (a friend of the podcast) helped me upset the top seed in my playoffs. Please tell me he's good to help this underdog again! Thanks for all that you do!
Stephania bell (3:29 PM)
Jeremy: MJD said he expects to play BUT won't even practice until Friday. Going to be pretty hard to fully test it based on that outing but they'll give him the benefit of the doubt given that he's a veteran. I'd be securing a replacement.
Hey Stephania, any word on Cutler? Does it look like he'll be the starter this week. Picked up McCown in place of Romo last night and was quite satisfied with it. I kind of like McCown over Cutler
Stephania bell (3:31 PM)
Jeremy: the Bears like McCown right now. I think Cutler in practice is a good sign that he's making progress, but first practice in a month is a long way from playing in a game. Don't think it will be this week.
Stephania bell (3:32 PM)
Hold please folks. Just got my laptop replaced, going to switch over...
Karen S. (Aptos)
Happy Tuesday Stephania!! Did Pitta's success on Sunday surprise you at all? That was a crazy injury he had to overcome.
Stephania Bell (3:38 PM)
Kren: Happy Tuesday! I was very impressed with Pitta's return. I remember when I got the news about his hip dislocation. I was with a number of medical folks in Cooperstown for Dr. Jobe's Hall of Fame recognition. Everyone's immediate thought was there was a good chance he was done for the year. When we heard they took him to surgery that night, we thought it was virtually certain he was done. The Ravens thought he was done. But this is why we always say once they get to surgery, they get a better idea of what the prognosis is. Turned out there was a fracture but no ligament damage, cartilage looked good too. So they thought he had a chance to come back. Made a huge diving catch too. Really like him the next couple weeks and if you are down a tight end and he's available,that's who I'd go get.
Chose to forgo sleep on the eve of my 7:30 stats final to stay up and root on my team. I was rewarded as Forte outscored Jeffery by more than the two points needed to win my match up, and my stats exam went surprisingly well. So, the lesson is to always put fantasy football ahead of your education.
Stephania Bell (3:39 PM)
Sterling: Stats and fantasy football were made for each other! You were actually preparing. Well done. We support enhancing education with fantasy sports.
Your 9ers won a hard fought battle against my 'Hawks this weekend, but I think the resulting close score probably made both teams feel confident going into this weekend and the real playoffs. That being said any chance Harvin comes back this week or are we waiting to see 2 straight days of at lesat "Limited" practice before we can feel confident?
Stephania Bell (3:42 PM)
BD: Thanks for the kind words. I agree with you. Niners needed to get that win. I dread a potential return trip to Seattle though. I would be surprised if he returns this week considering he never practiced last week. They need him in the real playoffs so I think they hold him back, go very slowly. We'll see what really happens but I'd hardly be counting on him. Even if he does become a surprise active, think after this setback they will definitely limit his involvement in next outing.
Is keenan allens shoulder injury more then just a nagging problem? Getting hit during a game catching the ball could worsen his condition. Should I consider other options?
Stephania Bell (3:44 PM)
David: This is actually the other shoulder that he "injured" htis week. Clearly they didn't see it as anything serious since immediately they were talking about the likelihood he would play Thursday. Re-injury always a possibility but not enough of one to keep him out of a lineup.
How's Gore's ankle?
stephania bell (3:48 PM)
John: Definitely sore. But he's been battling through this on and off and it won't keep him off the field.
Clint (Vero Beach)
Would you drop Fleener for Pitta if you also have Olsen?
stephania bell (3:48 PM)
given the plethora of injuries gronk has sustained in the last year, where do you see his chances of every being 100% again
stephania bell (3:50 PM)
Brian: I think he will eventually get back to 100%. Hard to believe but he's just 24 years old. While the cumulative wear and tear may ultimately shorten his overall NFL career longevity, I expect him to come back from this strong, just as he has from the other injuries he's had.
Hey, Stephania. Despite the Skins being hot messes, will Jordan Reed suit up this week?
stephania bell (3:52 PM)
Matt: Clearly there is some concern by the Redskins about some lingering symptoms given his three week absence. The fact he had a recurrence of symptoms before the second week (when he was initially expected to return), probably resulted in them slowing him down more than he wanted. Even last week he thought he would play. At this point, I'd be looking for another option. Would be too concerned about a possible late inactive, not to mention any other larger team issues.
Frankie (New England)
I lost Gronk. I drafted him and stashed him and he helped me win 4-5 match ups. My other TE is Tony Gonzalez. I have a claim in on Pitta. Start Pitta over Gonzo?
stephania bell (3:55 PM)
Frankie: If you get Pitta, I'd save him for Week 16. Atlanta hosts Washington this week and I like Gonzalez in that game. The following week they (Falcons) travel to SF and that's when I would choose Pitta.
Do you think Miller will be back at full strength for the Dolphins, Thomas might be a good pick up if not... What are your thoughts?
stephania bell (3:56 PM)
Jake: The standard concussion answer which is we don't know, he needs to progress through the protocol. Not sure I'd be counting on Thomas. He was (they thought) almost done for the season and was a surprise to even play this past Sunday. His ankle is not 100 percent. Just not sure how much you can trust him and would at least be evaluating all other possible options.
Did Jason Witten suffer an injury in last night's blow out?
stephania bell (3:58 PM)
Chad: Several people asking that but there's been no report of an injury to Witten. His productivity (on per game average) definitely down somewhat but no apparent injury to blame.
Is Michael Crabtree progressing toward the "start" option?
stephania bell (4:00 PM)
David: Think he's worth a flex. Saw some things in his performance that were very impressive (including one acrobatic catch where he had to get high up in the air) considering it was just his second game post-Achilles repair.
stephania bell (4:01 PM)
Time for me to move along. Thanks so much for coming. Best of luck in Week 15! Here's hoping you overcome any and all injuries and advance to the next round of playoffs.