Okwuegbunam caught three of six targets for 45 yards and one touchdown in Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Chiefs.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam stepped into a 53 percent offensive snap share in the contest with rookie Greg Dulcich (hamstring) on injured reserve. Sunday marked only the seventh game the veteran has appeared in this season, and his snap percentage was his highest since Week 2. Additionally, Okwuegbunam's touchdown was his first trip to the end zone of the 2022 campaign. After entering the season as a candidate to take a major step forward, the season has been one to forget for the 24-year-old. Okwuegbunam should enter a Week 18 matchup with the Chargers looking to end the year on a high note as Denver's de facto No. 1 tight end.
Jan 3, 2023 10:02 AM EST
Okwuegbunam (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Rams, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam hasn't seen much playing time in recent weeks, and he'll be a healthy scratch for Sunday's Christmas Day matchup. As long as the Broncos' other tight ends remain healthy, Okwuegbunam is unlikely to see much of a role late in the regular season.
Dec 25, 2022 12:24 PM EST
Okwuegbunam doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's matchup against Kansas City.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam landed on the injury report Thursday as a limited participant due to an illness, but he upgraded to full participation Friday and doesn't carry an injury designation into Sunday's divisional matchup. The tight end has been a healthy scratch since Week 5, but he could return to the field in Week 14 with reserve tight end Andrew Beck (hamstring) sidelined.
Dec 9, 2022 1:58 PM EST
Okwuegbunam (illness) was a limited paticipant in practice Thursday, Ellie Kinney of the Broncos' official site reports.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam appeared on Denver's Week 14 injury for the first time Thursday, and his limited participation is an encouraging sign that he'll be able to overcome this issue before Friday's final injury report. The third-year tight end caught seven of 11 targets for 50 yards over the first five weeks of the season, but he's been a healthy scratch since the emergence of rookie Greg Dulcich in Week 6. However, coach Nathaniel Hackett said Thursday that Okwuegbunam could be active again for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, as he could help supplement the team's depleted receiving corps with wideout Courtland Sutton considered doubtful to play with a hamstring injury.
Dec 8, 2022 2:42 PM EST
Okwuegbunam may be active Sunday against the Chiefs for the first time since Week 5, according to head coach Nathanial Hackett, Zac Stevens of the DNVR.com reports.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam has been a healthy scratch since the Week 6 debut of Greg Dulcich. The former's inability to succeed in a blocking role has left him stuck behind Eric Tomlinson and Eric Saubert on the team's positional depth chart, while Dulcich handles more of a receiving role for the team at tight end. However, with Courtland Sutton (hamstring) considered doubtful for Sunday's game with the Chiefs, Okwuegbunam could find himself active and taking on a wide receiver role in the contest, as the Broncos would be lacking size at the position if Sutton were to sit.
Dec 8, 2022 10:29 AM EST
Okwuegbunam (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Jaguars in London, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam will be a healthy scratch for the third game in a row, and he'll likely continue to find himself outside of Denver's offensive game plans for the foreseeable future with rookie third-round pick Greg Dulcich having taking over as the Broncos' top tight end. Because he offers limited utility as a blocker or on special teams, Okwuegbunam also finds himself behind Eric Tomlinson, Andrew Beck and Eric Saubert on the depth chart. The 24-year-old Okwuegbunam could surely benefit from a change of scenery, and he could be a candidate to get dealt ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline if the Broncos find a suitor in need of a tight end with some pass-catching upside.
Oct 30, 2022 5:58 AM EST
Okwuegbunam (coach's decision) is listed as inactive Sunday versus the Jets, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.
Analysis: For a second straight game, the Broncos have made Okwuegbunam a healthy scratch, instead going with the quartet of Greg Dulcich, Eric Saubert, Eric Tomlinson and Andrew Beck at tight end. Okwuegbunam's next opportunity to suit up arrives next Sunday at Jacksonville.
Oct 23, 2022 12:36 PM EST
Okwuegbunam (coach's decision) is listed as inactive Monday at the Chargers, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam's usage has wavered from all season, ranging from two to 66 percent of the offensive snaps and zero to six targets per game through five contests. Now, he won't be available to Denver's offense at all Week 6. The team thus will trot out Eric Saubert, rookie Greg Dulcich, Eric Tomlinson and Andrew Beck at tight end, while Okwuegbunam's next chance to play is this coming Sunday against the Jets.
Oct 17, 2022 3:59 PM EST
Okwuegbunam caught his only target for five yards in Thursday's 12-9 overtime loss to the Colts.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam's precipitous fall from fantasy relevance continued Thursday as the veteran tight end was on the field for just 21 percent of the Broncos' offensive snaps, the lowest snap share of all Denver tight ends. Teammate Eric Saubert once again led the Broncos' tight end room in both snaps (41) and targets (7). However, Okwuegbunam's 15 offensive snaps were also behind Eric Tomlinson (35) and Andrew Beck (19) in the tight end pecking order. The 24-year-old's lack of playing time is a major concern, and it's unlikely things will get much better with rookie Greg Dulcich (hamstring) nearing a return from injured reserve. Okwuegbunam should remain off the fantasy radar as the Broncos visit the Chargers in Week 6.
Oct 8, 2022 1:41 PM EST
Okwuegbunam played one offensive snap and didn't record any counting stats during Sunday's 32-23 loss to the Raiders.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam played 42 offensive snaps in the team's season-opening loss to the Seahawks, but he's seen his snap count decrease in each of the past three games and hardly played at all in Week 4. Eric Saubert led the Broncos' tight end room with 41 offensive snaps against Las Vegas, while Eric Tomlinson (21) and Andrew Beck (12) both garnered solid roles as well. However, Saubert was the only tight end involved in the passing attack, catching one of two targets for 25 yards. Greg Dulcich, a rookie third-round pick, is on track to return from IR ahead of Week 5, so his presence will make Okwuegbunam's path back into the offensive game plan even more difficult.
Oct 4, 2022 7:25 AM EST
Okwuegbunam caught one of two targets for 12 yards in Sunday's 11-10 win over the 49ers.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam continued his disappointing start to the 2022 season, seeing just two targets for the second straight week. What's more concerning is that the 24-year-old played on just 24 of the Broncos' 74 offensive snaps, 11 fewer than fellow tight ends Eric Saubert and Eric Tomlinson. Fantasy managers hoping for Okwuegbunam to take a major step forward this season will have to take a wait-and-see approach as the Denver offense works to repair an offense that is clearly broken. Until then, the 6-foot-5, 258-pounder will be extremely difficult to trust for fantasy purposes when the Broncos visit the Raiders in Week 4.
Sep 27, 2022 8:31 PM EST
Okwuegbunam was targeted twice, but failed to record a catch in Sunday's 16-9 win over the Texans.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam was a nonfactor in the contest on a day when Russell Wilson completed just 14 total passes and the team only managed to score 16 points. The 24-year-old had an opportunity to become more involved when Jerry Jeudy exited the game with a rib injury, but the Broncos offense could not get much going. The lone touchdown of the day came in the fourth quarter when Russell Wilson hooked up with tight end Eric Saubert on a 22-yard score. Fantasy managers hoping that Okwuegbunam could make a big leap this year should exercise caution while Denver's offense finds its groove. The 6-foot-5, 258-pounder will look to get more involved in Week 3 when the Broncos host the 49ers.
Sep 18, 2022 7:41 PM EST
Okwuegbunam caught five of six targets for 33 yards in Monday's 17-16 loss to Seattle.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam led all Broncos tight ends in catches and targets, though tight end/fullback Andrew Beck topped him in receiving yards with 52. Running back Javonte Williams caught 11 passes while Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton each topped 70 receiving yards, so Okwuegbunam looks like the fourth option at best in Denver's passing game heading into a Week 2 visit from the Texans.
Sep 12, 2022 9:17 PM EST
Okwuegbunam (lower body) wasn't listed on Friday's injury report.
Analysis: Okwuegbunam dealt with some tightness last week, but that has evidently cleared up. With Noah Fant now in Seattle and rookie third-round pick Greg Dulcich starting the season on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury, Okwuegbunam will open the season Monday against Seattle as the top tight end in Denver's new-look, Russell Wilson-led offense.
Sep 9, 2022 10:17 AM EST
Okwuegbunam (lower body) practiced Tuesday, Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com reports.
Analysis: Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said Okwuegbunam "had a little tightness" last week, but he appears to be fine heading into Week 1. With Noah Fant gone and Russell Wilson in town, the 2020 fourth-round pick is expected to have a big season as the Broncos' No. 1 tight end. Last year, he appeared in 14 games and caught 33 of 40 targets for 330 yards and two scores.
Sep 6, 2022 10:25 AM EST
Okwuegbunam was held out of the Broncos' preseason finale as well as practice Wednesday due to a lower body issue, but added that he could have played Saturday had it been a regular season contest, Ryan O'Halloran of The Denver Post reports.
Analysis: It remains to be seen if the tight end appears on the team's Week 1 injury report next week, but Okwuegbunam's status for the season opener doesn't appear to be in any danger. Once the season commences, the 24-year-old is slated to work as the Broncos' top pass-catching tight end, a role that Okwuegbunam should maintain out of the gate, with 2022 third-rounder Greg Dulcich on IR an in line to miss the first four games of the season, per Aric DiLalla of the team's official site. In that context, Okwuegbunam could yield some early-season fantasy lineup utility if he displays good on-field chemistry with Russell Wilson, Denver's new franchise QB.
Sep 1, 2022 10:40 AM EST
Okwuegbunam isn't in line to play in Saturday's preseason game versus the Vikings, George Stoia III of The Denver Gazette reports.
Analysis: Offensive coordinator Justin Outten implied to Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com on Thursday that Okwuegbunam again would see action in the Broncos' third exhibition, but it appears coach Nathaniel Hackett ultimately will keep his top tight end on the sideline Saturday. Overall, Okwuegbunam hauled in four of five passes (for 32 yards) from quarterbacks not named Russell Wilson in two contests, so their connection won't be seen on the field until Week 1, when the team opens the campaign Monday, Sept. 12 with a visit to Seattle.
Aug 27, 2022 5:33 PM EST
Offensive coordinator Justin Outten said Thursday that Okwuegbunam will play in Saturday's preseason contest against the Vikings, Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com reports.
Analysis: After Okwuegbunam didn't receive a target on 16 offensive snaps in the Broncos' exhibition opener, he played much of preseason Week 2 this past Saturday in Buffalo, gathering in four of five passes for 32 yards. His usage under new coach Nathaniel Hackett has been strange to say the least as Denver's No. 1 tight end, but Okwuegbunam has yet to see action with new quarterback Russell Wilson and likely won't this weekend as well. As long as Okwuegbunam emerges Saturday with his health intact, he should serve as one of the team's top playmakers Week 1 and beyond.
Aug 25, 2022 8:58 PM EST
Okwuegbunam played the entirety of Denver's preseason game against Buffalo on Saturday, catching four receptions for 32 yards on five targets.
Analysis: Coach Nathaniel Hackett said afterward that Okwuegbunam "needs reps," indicating some sort of dissatisfaction. By all accounts Okwuegbunam has made big plays consistently in Broncos training camp, so it's not clear why Hackett is playing mind games or what end he thinks he's working toward, but just as any other time he's ever played Okwuegbunam drew usage and played well against the Bills. It would be odd for Hackett to antagonize what might be his best big-play threat on offense, but for now that appears to be the situation.
Aug 20, 2022 2:10 PM EST
Okwuegbunam did not log a target during the Broncos' 17-7 preseason win over the Cowboys on Saturday night.
Analysis: The projected starting tight end did start the game but didn't make a mark on the stat sheet. However, there's no active threat to Okwuegbunam's status as the top player at his position to open the season, and he could certainly see some targets in next Saturday night's road preseason clash against the Bills if the Broncos treat the game as a dress rehearsal and Russell Wilson plays at least a couple of series.
Aug 13, 2022 9:24 PM EST
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