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Training Camp Notes: Vick Headed To The Steel City?

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.

  • Guard Evan Mathis struck a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos on Tuesday afternoon. He was released by the Eagles on June 11. Adam Schefter reports that the deal could be worth up to $4 million with performance-based incentives. Mathis, 33, was a Pro Bowl guard in 2013 and 2014 for the Eagles, but head coach Chip Kelly decided to release the veteran for reasons that are still subject to dispute. In Denver, Mathis will likely have a chance to compete for playing time in an offense that will throw the ball plenty and be expected to make the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the playing time situation shakes out in the coming weeks.
  • The Cowboys returned a familiar face Tuesday when wide receiver Dez Bryant made his return to practice. It's Bryant's first appearance at a Cowboys practice since Aug. 6; since then, he's been dealing with a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined. The Cowboys play Minnesota on Saturday in their third preseason game, and Bryant could theoretically see playing time against the Vikings, but it's not a necessity. He's widely expected to be healthy for Week 1, and his return to practice Tuesday gives fantasy owners a sign that his progress is on schedule.
  • San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will see playing time against the Seahawks in Saturday's game after being held out of the team's contest with the Cardinals because of a minor ankle injury. It has turned out to be extremely minor, and he'll likely see a ton of work against Seattle's stout defense in what will be the Chargers' dress rehearsal for the regular season. They weren't going to take chances with the No. 15 overall pack in this year's draft, but he seems to be on pace to be 100 percent ready for Week 1, which makes him an intriguing and tempting running back pick in fantasy drafts.
  • Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is expected to return to practice this week after missing time with a hamstring injury. The Broncos' second-leading wide receiver in 2014 could potentially play in the team's last two preseason games, but the far more important part of the equation is that his return to practice this week gives him plenty of time to prepare for Week 1. Sanders is an early-round pick in nearly all fantasy drafts, and owners should have confidence selecting him when they see fit. He'll be ready to catch passes from Peyton Manning by the time the regular season begins.
  • Despite an impressive fourth-quarter comeback in the Bills' 11-10 preseason win over the Browns, quarterback EJ Manuel is still practicing with the team's backup unit. The team hasn't said anything definitive about the quarterback race between Manuel, Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel, but it appears that Manuel remains behind the eight ball for now. He'll have the opportunity to showcase his abilities once again when Buffalo takes on Pittsburgh this weekend. Perhaps two game-winning drives in a row will earn him brownie points with head coach Rex Ryan. Still, Manuel is far from a viable fantasy option at quarterback.