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Diontae Spencer

Pittsburgh Steelers
Wide Receiver #0
Pittsburgh Steelers
Wide Receiver #0

Diontae Spencer News

Resumes practicing

Spencer (knee) returned to practice Wednesday, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.

Analysis: Spencer has missed practice recently due to a lingering knee injury, and while the Broncos could continue taking a cautious approach to his activity level leading up to the regular season, it's encouraging to see the 29-year-old handling reps again. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound wideout has focused on improving as an all-around receiver this offseason, though with the amount of capable pass catchers around to demand targets in Denver, it's difficult to imagine an easy path to offensive opportunities. On special teams, however, Spencer could thrive if healthy. He ranked seventh in the league in terms of punt return yards last season.

Aug 11, 2021 12:33 PM EST

Misses practice

Spencer (knee) missed practice Saturday, George Stoia of the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

Analysis: Spencer was held out of practice to give him a chance to recuperate from a lingering knee issue. Coach Vic Fangio noted that the wideout's knee has "been up and down. He's been practicing through it; we just felt he needed a day. I don't think he'll be out long." For now, it appears the Broncos are being cautious with the 29-year-old receiver, who impressed as a punt returner last season. Meanwhile, Spencer has discussed his efforts to become a better all-around receiver, as he hasn't contributed much in Denver's passing game over the last two years. With a crowded group of pass catchers in the team's offense, however, the 5-foot-8, 170-pounder faces an uphill battle to make any sort of noise as a receiver, at least for fantasy purposes.

Aug 8, 2021 7:52 AM EST

Signs ERFA tender

Spencer has signed his exclusive rights free agent tender with the Broncos, Zac Stevens of DNVR Sports reports.

Analysis: Spencer will return to the Broncos in 2021 after establishing himself as one of the league's most dangerous punt returners last season. He's expected to maintain a prominent role on special teams but a minimal one on offense, as Spencer recorded just three catches and three rushing attempts for 45 scrimmage yards in 2020.

Apr 15, 2021 8:00 PM EST

Receiving tender from Broncos

The Broncos tendered exclusive rights free agent Spencer on Monday, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.

Analysis: A midseason shoulder injury and a subsequent stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list kept Spencer to 11 appearances in 2020, but he shined as a punter returner when active. Spencer was one of eight players in the NFL to score on a punt return last season, while his two returns of 40-plus yards ranked second in the league to All-Pro Gunner Olszewski. Given Spencer's status as an exclusive rights free agent, this latest transaction locks him in as a Bronco heading into the 2021 campaign.

Mar 9, 2021 6:55 PM EST

Among league's best punt returners

Spencer returned 16 punts for 253 yards and 15 kicks for 281 yards. On offense, Spencer caught three of six targets for 26 yards and rushed three times for 19 total yards.

Analysis: Spencer finished the season ranked seventh in the league in punt return yards. That success didn't translate to kick returns, where he finished 30th. Given Spencer's minimal role on offense, it'll be interesting to see what the Broncos do with Spencer this offseason as he enters exclusive-rights free agency. Rookie Tyrie Cleveland, who showed flashes as a receiver in the season finale, also looked good as a kick returner midseason when Spencer missed time midseason while fellow rookie KJ Hamler handled punt returns.

Jan 14, 2021 7:46 PM EST

Targeted twice in loss

Spencer caught one of his two targets for a 10-yard gain and added a nine-yard run during Sunday's 19-16 loss at the Chargers. He added 111 total yards on five kick returns and 46 total yards on three punt returns.

Analysis: Spencer doubled his season total of targets Sunday as KJ Hamler (concussion) exited early. The diminutive target was even the closest target to Drew Lock's last-second Hail-Mary heave at the end of the ballgame. If Hamler can't play in the season finale against Las Vegas, expect Spencer to get a touch or two on offense, particular with gadget-type plays.

Dec 28, 2020 6:16 PM EST

Returns punt for TD

Spencer had an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown during Sunday's 32-27 win over the Panthers. He also had five yards on his lone kick return.

Analysis: Spencer hasn't drawn a target since Week 6, but he continues to get consistent work in the return game. He earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Panthers and is now averaging 17.5 yards per punt return.

Dec 16, 2020 9:23 AM EST

Shifts off COVID list

Spencer was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.

Analysis: Given this development, the McNeese State standout becomes eligible to suit up Week 14 against the Panthers. Spencer has been residing on the reserve/COVID-19 list since Nov. 27, meaning a game appearance would mark his first since Week 11. The 28-year-old has averaged 10.2 yards per punt return over nine attempts as well as 18.6 yards per return over eight kickoff opportunities.

Dec 10, 2020 4:19 PM EST

Shifts to COVID-19 list

The Broncos placed Spencer on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.

Analysis: Spencer has either tested positive for the virus or come into close contact with an infected person. Regardless, he won't play against the Saints on Sunday. In turn, Tyrie Cleveland and KJ Hamler are expected to return kicks and punts, respecitively.

Nov 27, 2020 1:39 PM EST

Registers 32 return yards

Spencer didn't receive a target on offense but recorded 22 yards on his lone kick return and 10 yards on three punt returns in Sunday's 20-13 win over the Dolphins.

Analysis: Spencer hasn't played more than six snaps on offense in a game this year. The 28-year-old is the team's primary returner, and he's averaged 18.6 yards per kick return and 10.2 yards per punt return.

Nov 24, 2020 1:47 PM EST

Ready to play Sunday

Spencer (shoulder) is active for Sunday's game against the Raiders.

Analysis: The 28-year-old was considered questionable due to the shoulder injury, but it won't prevent him from suiting up Sunday. Spencer should handle return duties and work as a depth receiver for the Broncos.

Nov 15, 2020 11:40 AM EST

Questionable after full practice

Spencer (shoulder) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Raiders, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.

Analysis: Spencer practiced fully Friday, which bodes well for his availability. The return man is unlikely to have much of a role on offense unless fellow wide receiver Jerry Jeudy -- who is questionable with a shoulder injury of his own -- sits.

Nov 13, 2020 1:29 PM EST

Managing shoulder issue

Spencer (shoulder) was a limited participant during Wednesday's practice, Troy Renck of Denver 7 News reports.

Analysis: Spencer suffered the injury during last week's loss to the Falcons, and he appears to be continuing to managing the issue. The Denver receiving corps is all the sudden looking a bit thin, with Spencer, Jerry Jeudy (shoulder) and Tim Patrick (hamstring) all managing injuries during Wednesday's practice.

Nov 11, 2020 3:49 PM EST

Downgrades to out

Spencer (shoulder) has been ruled out for Sunday's game versus the Falcons, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.

Analysis: Spencer was already considered doubtful heading into the weekend, so this news was expected. He'll miss a third straight game, but his contributions as a depth wide receiver won't be affected much because Tim Patrick (hamstring) is expected to return. Tyrie Cleveland and KJ Hamler are expected to fill in on kick and punt return, respectively.

Nov 7, 2020 2:53 PM EST

Not expected to play Sunday

Bouye (concussion) is considered doubtful for Sunday's game versus the Falcons, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.

Analysis: Spencer's on track to miss a third straight game since suffering a shoulder injury in a Week 6 win over the Patriots. His absence will mainly affect the Broncos' return game, so Tyrie Cleveland and KJ Hamler should continue to work as the kick and punt returners, respectively.

Nov 6, 2020 2:20 PM EST

Won't play Week 8

Spencer (shoulder) is ruled out for Sunday's game against the Chargers, Jeff Legwold of reports.

Analysis: Spencer's shoulder injury will cause him to miss a second straight game, setting the stage for KJ Hamler to bring back punts while Tyrie Cleveland handles kick return duties. The depth wideout and return man's next chance to take the field will come Nov. 8 against Atlanta.

Oct 30, 2020 1:56 PM EST

Misses second straight practice

Spencer (shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Zac Stevens of reports.

Analysis: Spencer wasn't able to suit up against the Chiefs last weekend, and he's now missed back-to-back practices to begin Week 8. The return man was able to work on the side Thursday, which is somewhat encouraging, but he nonetheless appears to be trending in the wrong direction for Sunday's game against the Chargers.

Oct 29, 2020 2:40 PM EST

Considered day-to-day

Spencer (shoulder) is day-to-day and will be monitored through the practice week, Zac Stevens of reports.

Analysis: Spencer missed this past Sunday's loss to the Chiefs, but coach Vic Fangio appears optimistic about the wide receiver's status moving forward. The 28-year-old didn't practice at all last week and will need to get on the field in some capacity this week to have a chance to suit up Sunday against the Chargers. If he can't shake the injury in time, KJ Hamler likely will handle punt return duties while Tyrie Cleveland brings back kicks.

Oct 26, 2020 11:43 AM EST

Won't face Chiefs

Spencer (shoulder) is ruled out for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site reports.

Analysis: Spencer's shoulder injury will force him to miss his first game of the season. As long as Spencer is sidelined, Tyrie Cleveland will handle kick return duties, while Bryce Callahan stands to field punts.

Oct 23, 2020 12:51 PM EST

DNP on Thursday

Spencer (shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Aric DiLalla of the Broncos' official site report.

Analysis: Spencer has now missed back-to-back practices due to the shoulder injury that forced him out of Week 6's win over the Patriots. If he's unable to face the Chiefs on Sunday, the Broncos will likely turn to Tyrie Cleveland for kick return duties, while Bryce Callahan would field punts.

Oct 22, 2020 3:17 PM EST

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