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 (1:02 PM)
Happy Tuesday everyone - Can you believe NFL kickoff is just 2 days away? Now that it's so close, I'm not sure I'm ready. Wait, who am I kidding? Bring it on...
Cameron (Redondo beach,CA)
Hi Stephania. How do feel about the prospects of Steven Jackson staying healthy this year? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (1:03 PM)
Cameron: How is lovely CA? I, sadly, cannot feel optimistic about his chances of staying healthy given his history, his age, the mileage. And he started camp off with another hamstring injury. I WISH him to be healthy...but don't think it can last.
Any reason to doubt Gronk's declaration that he is a for sure go? Any way to know what kind of snap count the ultra secretive Patriots will have him on?
Stephania Bell (1:04 PM)
Ross: Nope. I've been saying all along that barring a setback I expected to see him Week One. And he will be out there. Perhaps not for the entire game. But again, his snaps are value snaps. Brady looks for him and Brady also knows that helps with the confidence to get a score early. So I like him out of the gate. Bigger q for me is whether he can last an entire season.
SackBandit (Philadelphia, Pa.)
I have both Zack Ertz and Rob Gronkowski on my team. Looking ahead, which one should be my 1st option. I know the overwhelming majority of people would say Gronk, but I can't win my league on past exploits and I have a good feeling about Ertz. I would really appreciate any input you could throw my way.
Stephania Bell (1:06 PM)
Hi Sackbandit: As a follow-up to the last q, I would go with Gronk here based on the history. I do like Ertz a lot and that is exactly the scenario I would hope to have: Gronk backed up by a quality tight end. And then as the season rolls along, if Gronk gets injured (assuming Ertz stays healthy), plug him in.
With Welker's concussion, will sanders receive more targets and playing time? Love your tv and chats, Stephania!!!!!!!
Stephania Bell (1:08 PM)
Don: Thanks for the kind words. First, the Broncos are certainly making it look as if Welker could be back by Week One. But I have to say I'm very concerned about his health going forward - both for this season and beyond. I don't think it will take much for him to suffer another concussion episode and then, well, who knows...I do think that Sanders is the primary beneficiary so to speak of any downtime for Welker.
LittleRon- Football (WV)
Go with Cam Newton this week or drop RB5 and go to WW. Available are J. McCown, Vick, Henne, Manuel, S. Hill, G. Smith, Locker...thx
Stephania Bell (1:10 PM)
LittleRon: I still go with Cam. He will have had a nice 10 days rest. Not enough to fully heal but enough to improve significantly and enough, I believe, to play well. Better option than any of your others.
Sam (South Carolina)
Any concerns on the health and durability of DeMarco Murray this season?
Stephania Bell (1:13 PM)
Sam: I was just in your fair state to see the big SC vs TAMU game. Not quite how SC had it planned...but all the people I met were lovely!Murray has been trending upward in games played the last two years...so let's hope it continues again and he makes all 16. But let's face it. That's becoming increasingly difficult for any RB to do. So, yes, I'd factor in a couple missed games..and hope for nothing more but I'm not hugely concerned.
Scott (Columbus Ohio)
I have Foster as my RB1. Should I be worried that he hasn't played in the preseason? Is he also a no brainer start this week especially since I also have Grimes behind him? Thanks for the injury news.
Stephania Bell (1:14 PM)
Scott: No, don't worry too much. He's in the best shape of his career. Think he has the ego to want to stick it to the naysayers and come out strong. It's reasonable to be concerned a bit about the possibility of him straining something or other given his lack of play but you could also flip it and say his legs are really fresh. I choose the latter. And yes, he starts.
dennis (New England)
does the fact that Wes Welker has had three concussions in just under a year go against his chances of having a complete season? The NFL is very sensitive to this issue and could they enforce longer down time if he is banged up again?
Stephania Bell (1:16 PM)
Dennis: NFL can't enforce longer down time. There are guidelines that each team has to follow but then it is up to the medical decision makers to "clear" a player through each phase and ultimately clear to return. One would hope/expect that the conversations about multiple injuries are happening behind the scenes between Welker and his medical providers but essentially the NFL cannot control his return.
Hi Miss Bell! Big fan! With all the injuries and suspensions to the 49ers D/ST, Is the Saints a better option?
Stephania Bell (1:22 PM)
Ryan: This is very near and dear to my heart as everyone knows I am a Niners fan...but their losses on defense are huge, at least to start the season. I'm not sure the Saints are a better option (although I think they have some playmakers and are a better D than most people think) but I think SF has fallen down below other NFC W teams.
Tyrone (Portland, OR)
Pick one of the following three to drop from my roster: DeAngelo Williams, Pierre Thomas or Sammy Watkins...
Stephania Bell (1:23 PM)
Chances Sammy Watkins is good to go for Sunday?
Stephania Bell (1:24 PM)
Xander: I think he'll play...but he's still hurting and his hint that there is more to it than just "bruised ribs" suggests either hairline fracture or cartilage injury, just adding to the healing time and pain. We've seen the injury get aggravated pain-wise once already, could happen again. So I think he plays but won't be quite himself.
Steve (Coral Gables)
Hi Ms. BellCan you please provide any Kenny Stills updates? Is he a factor this week or will they ease him back? Thanks
Stephania Bell (1:26 PM)
Steve: Well, the quad injury he aggravated recently has actually been a problem since the offseason. He has now had not one, but two setbacks from the original injury and his status for Week One is definitely in question. Makes me like Cooks even more than I already did.
Is Jordan Cameron ready to go?
Stephania Bell (1:28 PM)
Ryan: I believe he is. Sprained AC joint during camp. Could become a problem again at some point if he lands on the shoulder the right (or wrong) way but he's been back in practice this week and I expect him to be ready to play Week One.
Would you start Romo over Rodgers this week given the injuries to the 49ers D?
Stephania Bell (1:28 PM)
Andy (Chicago, IL)
Starphania! Thanks for your insights as always. What are the chances that old man Colston stays healthy this year? And have previous injuries sapped his upside? Thanks again.
Stephania Bell (1:31 PM)
Andy: He's a grinder, no doubt about that. For all his aches, pains and offseason surgeries, he's only missed either one or two games three of the last four seasons and the fourth one he played all 16. So he still shows up. It's just that there are a number of other options for Brees and Colston not quite what he used to be. Will still be a regular target though and good for a handful of TDs.
Jordan Reed - will he be healthy enough to play Sunday from is injured finger? But I'm really more concerned about is history of concussion trauma.
Stephania Bell (1:34 PM)
Mark: Thanks. I expect him to play. SOunds like the thumb sprain was enough to hold him out of the preseason finale and some practices but don't anticipate it being an issue for the first game. And you're right to be more concerned about the concussion history. Last year it was recurrent symptoms that ended his season early. Presumably he would not have been cleared to return had he not passed every test but that doesn't mean he might not be more susceptible to another incident. We just don't know.
chad k (ashland,PA)
Stephania,is reggie wayne ready to go?
Stephania Bell (1:35 PM)
Chad: Yes...already calling Peyton "the enemy"
What are your thoughts on Reggie Wayne week 1?
Stephania Bell (1:37 PM)
Aaron: And I love him. Not just because he went to the U. He was in great shape at camp. Think he's a reassuring outlet for Luck. Maybe Nicks is the big downfield threat but Wayne will get his targets.
O. Beckham is killing me. Can I count on 3 more weeks like Coughlin is saying or is he being optimistic?
Stephania Bell (1:38 PM)
Shane: Wouldn't count on anything with Beckham. This has been dragging on a long time, with one setback already. Who's to say he won't have another when he returns?
Are you buying that Tyler Eifert's injury is nothing to be worried about as the Bengals say? Didn't get to see anything in preseason games and am wondering how valuable he'll be to start the season.
Stephania Bell (1:42 PM)
Diego: The only thing that bothers me here is that the original injury was back during OTAs. At the time everyone minimized it and then it was declared fully healed before camp. Then it apparently wasn't since he missed some practice/preseason games because of a "sore" shoulder. They haven't said precisely what the injury is so we're left to guess but there has been no suggestion he won't be ready for Week One. My concern is whether this will turn into an on-again, off-again injury this season.
thoughts on doug martin coming back from injury? Viable rb1 option?
Stephania Bell (1:43 PM)
deangelo: Injury is well behind him. Bigger problem might be his O-line. But yes, still RB1 potential.
Generally speaking does Julio's second surgery reinforce the area or make it more of a concern going forward? People usually say bones heal stronger but soft tissue and scarring are nagging in nature. Any truth to this and how does it relate to meeEEEeeEE and Mr. Jones? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (1:47 PM)
Cody: The area where Jones fractured (or actually re-fractured) is a common injury area for WR and RB because of the stress that is placed on that part of the foot with planting/cutting/pivoting. Sometimes, due to the nature of what they do, athletes re-fracture. The surgeons are trying a couple of different things to hopefully better reinforce the area including stem cell paste and a larger screw to stabilize the bone. Still new enough that there are no guarantees but the progress Jones has made, the lack of discomfort and the way he has looked moving on that foot in the preseason are all encouraging. I am drafting him in leagues without hesitation.
Is Marvin Jones's injury something that will hamper him at all once he comes back (supposedly in week 5?).
Stephania Bell (1:49 PM)
Drew: I think the Week 5 return is optimistic. Not out of the question but hopeful. Sometimes takes a bit to feel mobile and confident on the foot after the downtime to allow the fracture to heal. I would just look at that timeframe as a target, not an absolute.
Hi Stephania. Is Chris Ivory healthy and the starter in NY this week, or do you see a split in carries w/ Chris Johnson?. Who would get the goalline work? Thanks!!
Stephania Bell (1:51 PM)
Susanne: Ivory will play. Johnson probably starts but I see them getting a mix of work, plenty for both. And Ivory is likely to get the goal line work.
Tony (SF) [via mobile]
I feel like Trent Richardson is going to have another stinker year. How healthy is Ahmad Bradshaw and should I be worried about his neck injury from last year?
Stephania Bell (1:53 PM)
Tony: The Colts certainly hope not. I heard some things that made me feel better about him this year...although until he proves it, it's easy to see why there are doubts that linger. Bradshaw's fusion has healed. When I got to camp he had participated in full practice 5 days in a row without limitation, even full contact (and he told me he took a big hit on a bull-rush and was just fine, not that he wanted to but it was a good test). The extra time off for neck surgery helped his foot and he says he feels better than he has in a couple years.
What's up with AJ Pollock and still hold onto W.Rosario? Thanks
Stephania Bell (1:56 PM)
David: It sounded like Pollock would join the team when rosters expanded but I haven't heard anything in last couple days. And I wouldn't drop Rosario yet. Really becomes an issue of whether the inflammation in his wrist will settle to the point of allowing him to swing the bat.
Brandon (Simi Valley, CA)
Not sure if you're only answering football questions. Here's a baseball one for you. Does Anthony Rizzo return to the Cubs lineup sometime before next week?
Stephania Bell (1:59 PM)
Brandon: Football won the day because of drafts, first game week this week. But trying to sneak in a couple baseball q. I wouldn't count on Rizzo at this stage. It sounds like given how much the back has bothered him, they may be sending him for further evaluation and who knows how long it will take to resolve.
With his injury history, do you think Percy Harvin will remain on kick return duty throughout the year?
Stephania Bell (2:00 PM)
Mark: I certainly think they plan to have him return kicks. Based on the exposure there though I think his injury risk goes up.
Natha (McKinney, TX)
Anything new on Bernard Pierce? Is he ready to roll this week as a viable flex option?
Stephania Bell (2:02 PM)
Nathan: Imagine he plays. Was back in practice as of last weekend so as of now, it appears he will play.
Stephania Bell (2:03 PM)
It's time for me to vacate the chat room. Thanks so much for coming. I can tell football season is around the corner. Lots of fantasy draft-related injury concerns. Good luck in those final drafts and we'll see you back here next week. Stay healthy!