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Broncos Activate CB Ronald Darby from IR, Promote WR Tyrie Cleveland from PS

TE Albert Okwuegbunam was sent to injured reserve.

The Denver Broncos announced a trio of roster moves on the eve of their Week 5 bout with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Denver added two players to its 53-man squad Saturday, activating cornerback Ronald Darby from injured reserve and elevating wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland from the practice squad. To make room, tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (hamstring) was sent to injured reserve.

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The team's $30 million free-agent acquisition, Darby sustained a hamstring injury in Week 5 and has been sidelined since. He notched six tackles and one pass deflection prior to going down. Recovered, he's expected to assume his starting CB spot opposite Kyle Fuller but, if active, won't play a full complement of snaps against the Steelers, head coach Vic Fangio cautioned Friday.

“Yeah, it would be limited," said Fangio.

Cleveland's promotion comes one day after WR Courtland Sutton rolled his ankle during practice, reportedly resulting in a low-grade sprain. Sutton was listed as questionable on Denver's final injury report.

The second-year pro will provide depth at the position with Sutton iffy, Jerry Jeudy (ankle) still on IR, and K.J. Hamler out for the season. Cleveland's impending debut could mean that WR Diontae Spencer (questionable, chest) is not expected to play.

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Tim Patrick, Kendall Hinton, and David Moore are the only other wideouts on the Week 5 roster.

Okwuegbunam, like Sutton, went down in practice, pulling up lame amid Wednesday's session. The 2020 fourth-round pick — whose rookie campaign was cut short by a torn ACL, and who's caught nine balls for 57 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore — will miss at least the next three games while on the injured list.

Okwuegbunam's absence should lead to more pass-catching looks for Eric Saubert and further entrench Noah Fant atop the depth chart. Fangio explained Thursday that he'd feel confident if Saubert needed to step into a larger role.

"Saub’s a veteran with good football instincts. He really knows his position well and knows how to play it," Fangio said. "He’s been a really good addition for us, and he’ll go in there and do a good job.”


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