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Jun. 10—When Diontae Spencer returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown last season against the Panthers, it gave the Broncos the "spark" they needed to go onto win 32-27.
Spencer, who's entering his third year with the Broncos, has been Denver's return man the last two years, averaging 11 yards per punt return and 23.9 yards per kick return. This year, Spencer hopes to continue being a playmaker for a special teams unit that has struggled in the past.
"It's an exciting play," Spencer said of his punt return for a touchdown against the Panthers in Week 14. "When you can get plays like that to help the offense and give the team a boost — eventually we ended up winning the game. If you can do those things on special teams and every now and then provide that spark, it just boosts the whole moral of the team."
But Spencer, 29, wants to contribute in more way than on special teams only. Having spent five years in the Canadian Football League, the Broncos are the first NFL team to keep him around longer than a few months.
And while he's spent the majority of his time as a returner, he hopes to make the rotation in the Broncos' already talented wide receiver room.
"I feel like we have so many different weapons on offense," Spencer said. "Everybody has a different skillset and guys can do multiple things. It's one of those things where when my number gets called and they draw the play up for me, I can go in there and execute it. I know my skillset. One thing I've been working on is becoming a better all-around receiver and working my game."
Spencer has only caught 14 passes in his NFL career, all with the Broncos. But he's been getting a lot of work with the offense during organized team activities with Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick being limited.
Whether or not his chance to see the field more is yet to be seen, but Spencer is happy with his role — no matter how big or small it may be.
"For me to be at this point and get reps on offense and contribute on that end, and also on special teams," Spencer said. "I just think it'll benefit the team in the long run. Whenever my number gets called, I can go in there and pretty much do anything."