Broncos sign WR River Cracraft, place Tim Patrick on IR
River Cracraft made the Denver Broncos' initial roster on the final cut-down day, only to be waived the ensuing Sunday. Barely more than a week later, however, the Broncos have come knockin' again in the wake of the Tim Patrick injury.
On Wednesday, the Broncos announced that Patrick, who broke his hand in Monday night's 24-16 loss to the Oakland Raiders, has been placed on injured reserve. Taking his place is Cracraft.
Cracraft has to be punch drunk when it comes to how many times he's been cut and re-signed by the Broncos since first joining the team in the fall of 2017. Hopefully, he can find a way to stick around this time.
Unfortunately for Cracraft, the No. 11 jersey he wore just two weeks ago now belongs to the player who replaced him on the 53-man roster initially — Diontae Spencer. Spencer was prioritized over Cracraft due to his explosive ability as a punt returner.
If Cracraft wants that No. 11 back, he'll have to bargain with Spencer. Then again, beggars can't be choosers. Cracraft can't even go back to his original number with the Broncos, because Juwann Winfree now sports No. 15.
Cracraft is an underrated slot receiver who can line up anywhere for the Broncos. He's an above average route-runner with the spunk to take a shot and keep moving downhill and the savvy to find the soft spot in the zone and get open.
Cracraft (6-foot-0, 198 pounds) is a second-year player who saw action in eight regular-season games last year with the Broncos, returning 11 punts for 40 yards (3.3 avg.) and catching one pass for 44 yards.
He entered the NFL as a practice squad signee with the Broncos in 2017 and caught eight passes for 50 yards (6.3 avg.) in five preseason contests with Denver this year. He played his college ball at Washington State.
Fans wondered whether practice-squader Fred Brown would get called up to fill Patrick's spot, but the Broncos ended up going with a player they're a bit more familiar with and one who can provide a more versatile utility in Cracraft.