Adam Schefter sparked Tuesday’s news cycle with a report that Michael Vick visited the Pittsburgh Steelers. Because of a finger injury to backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, and a seeming lack of confidence in Landry Jones, the Steelers found themselves in need of help in case Ben Roethlisberger suffers some sort of injury. Vick has started nine games in his last two years in the league, with his last stint as a true starting quarterback coming with the Eagles in 2013. He spent last season with the Jets, starting three games. He completed 52.9 percent of his passes, throwing for 604 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing for 153 yards. It’s an intriguing fit for the Steelers, but it doesn’t mean too much: if Vick signs and ends up seeing playing time during the regular season, the Steelers are already in bad shape.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien announced Monday that Brian Hoyer will be the team’s starting quarterback when the regular season opens at NRG Stadium on Sept. 13 against the Chiefs. That settles Houston’s biggest unknown, but what about other position battles and issues facing the team? We’re going inside preseason Week 2, a 14-10 loss to Denver, to look at other position battles, our thoughts on choosing Hoyer, and some items tangentially related to fantasy football.
Todd Gurley has been cleared medically to participate in team practice drills, which is a nice step for the Rams’ first-round pick as he continues his return from a torn ACL suffered last year. Gurley won’t play in any preseason games, but is ahead of schedule compared to where a lot of people thought he would be at this point in his recovery. Once healthy and on the field, Gurley has the potential to be an absolute fantasy beast; he may be the most talented running back to enter the league since Adrien Peterson. I think Gurley is a great buy-low candidate in drafts, especially as news like this about his recovery continues to roll in.
First, a quick postscript from Friday: I failed to cash in all but one lineup. I paid $69, took back $10 for a loss of $59, bringing my bankroll down to $1586.11. It’s hard to get too worked up about DFS losses these days though when I’m taking a much worse beating in the stock market… Okay, let’s take a look at tonight’s slate:
Notes from around the league on a bleak Sunday for Packers fans and anyone who invested early shares in one Jordy Ray Nelson:
Before Saturday’s eight-game slate commenced, practices, or walkthroughs at the very least, littered the landscape. Dwayne Bowe headlined the skill-position players returning to drills, attending a walkthrough after missing the Browns’ first two preseason contests as he tended to a hamstring injury. Currently, it’s unclear whether he’ll receive clearance to play in one of the two remaining exhibitions, but he expects to be ready for the regular season opener on Sept. 13 against the Jets.
Making his first appearance since Aug. 7, Fred Jackson was the first of the Bills’ injury-plagued backfield to make his presence felt on the practice field, and he fit in more work than head coach Rex Ryan expected. With LeSean McCoy (hamstring), Boobie DIxon (calf), Bryce Brown (hamstring), and Karlos Williams (undisclosed) still out of commission, Jackson exists as the clear-cut No. 1 back at the moment and anticipates taking on that role in next Saturday’s preseason contest versus the Steelers. Joining Jackson at practice was the wideout tandem of Sammy Watkins (glute) and Robert Woods (muscle tightness), who logged individual drills but were held out of the team portion.
– It seems like too much has been made of the drought Alex Smith had throwing a TD pass to a wide receiver and it’s bound to carry into the season. That being said, don’t forget about Jeremy Maclin this season. He’s being downgraded too much with his move from Philadelphia to Kansas City and the person to blame here could be Dwayne Bowe and not Smith. At a minimum Maclin should be seen as a flex option in most leagues with the likely ability to have nice WR No.2 stats.