Diontae Spencer

Diontae Spencer

Wide Receiver #0
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Ht / Wt:5'9" / 161 lb.
College:McNeese State
Age:28
Born:March 19, 1992
Drafted:2014 / UDFA

Diontae Spencer: 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.

January 14, 2021 7:46 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

December 28, 2020 6:16 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

December 16, 2020 9:23 AM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

December 10, 2020 4:19 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

November 27, 2020 1:39 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

November 24, 2020 1:47 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

November 15, 2020 11:40 AM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

November 13, 2020 1:29 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

November 11, 2020 3:49 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

November 7, 2020 2:53 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

November 6, 2020 2:20 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: Won't play Week 8

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

October 30, 2020 1:56 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: Misses second straight practice

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

October 29, 2020 2:40 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: Considered day-to-day

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

October 26, 2020 11:43 AM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

October 23, 2020 12:51 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: 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.

October 22, 2020 3:17 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: Missing practice time

Spencer didn't suit up in Wednesday's practice due to a shoulder injury.

Analysis: Spencer was forced out of last week's win over the Patriots due to the shoulder injury, and it now appears to cause him to miss practice time. The severity of the injury is unclear, but if Spencer is forced to miss next week's game against Kansas City, Tyrie Cleveland would continue to handle kick return duties, with Bryce Callahan elevating to fielding punts.

October 21, 2020 3:22 PM EST

Diontae Spencer: Exits with shoulder injury

Spencer was forced out of Sunday's game against the Patriots with a shoulder injury and is questionable to return.

Analysis: It's unclear how Spencer suffered the injury, but he was forced to leave the game right before halftime. As long as the McNeese State product is sidelined, look for Tyrie Cleveland to handle kick return duties, with Bryce Callahan elevating to fielding punts.

October 18, 2020 11:58 AM EST

Diontae Spencer: Likely safe at returner

Despite the addition of speedster KJ Hamler in the second round, it would "take a lot" for him to unseat Spencer as the Broncos' primary returner, Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com reports.

Analysis: Hamler returned 44 kicks for 1,036 yards and 37 punts for 222 yards during his two seasons at Penn State. That production, paired with elite speed, led some to make the immediate assumption that Hamler would come in as a returner. Head coach Vic Fangio dispelled that notion early with reporters, voicing his preference not to use offensive or defensive starters as returners. Not to mention, Spencer finished tenth in the league in total return yards in 2019. The addition of Hamler and Jerry Jeudy may spell trouble for some members of the Broncos' receiving corps, but probably not Spencer.

April 25, 2020 9:57 AM EST

Diontae Spencer: Headed back to Denver

Spencer will remain with the Broncos after the team placed a contract tender on the exclusive rights free agent Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.

Analysis: The 27-year-old was a solid player in the return game for the Broncos in 2019, returning 15 kickoffs for 436 yards and 26 punts for 208 yards. His offensive potential was a bit limited as a depth option, hauling in six passes for 31 yards. Spencer remains more of a return man and gadget player in the offense, using his speed and elusiveness to provide bursts of big-play potential. It's likely that Spencer will continue to man return duties while operating in a depth fashion on offense for Denver in 2020.

March 17, 2020 3:13 PM EST

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