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Broncos activate CB Ronald Darby from injured reserve


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Ahead of their Week 5 game in Pittsburgh, the Broncos will regain one of their top players.

Denver activated cornerback Ronald Darby from injured reserve to their 53-man roster, the team announced Saturday.

The Broncos placed tight end Albert Okwuegbunam on injured reserve in a corresponding roster move. Denver also elevated wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland to the game-day roster.

Darby is eligible to play Sunday against the Steelers and could see his first action since he suffered a hamstring injury in the Broncos' Week 1 win over the Giants. Darby recorded six tackles and one pass defense in his only action of the season.

Head Coach Vic Fangio said Friday that if Darby was activated, he would likely play limited snaps. Rookie Pat Surtain II has started at the right cornerback position in Darby's absence, while Kyle Fuller has held down the left cornerback spot.

"He's been everything we hoped he would be," Fangio said of Surtain on Thursday.

A year ago, Darby recorded 16 pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He has posted multiple interceptions in three of his six seasons before 2021.

Okwuegbunam suffered his injury during Wednesday's practice, and he will miss at least three games after catching nine passes for 57 yards and a touchdown in Denver's first four games.

Cleveland, a 2020 seventh-round pick, will make his 2021 season debut if he's active against the Steelers. The Florida product caught six passes for 63 yards last season.

Cleveland could provide necessary depth at the receiver position, as wide receivers Courtland Sutton (ankle) and Diontae Spencer (chest) are both listed as questionable. Jerry Jeudy remains on IR, while KJ Hamler will miss the remainder of the season. Tim Patrick, Kendall Hinton and David Moore remain options at the wide receiver position.

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