Broncos claim Allen off waivers from Rams

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              Los Angeles Rams quarterback Brandon Allen (8) breaks away from Houston Texans linebacker Jamal Davis II (49) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos were awarded four players off waivers Sunday, including quarterback Brandon Allen from the Los Angeles Rams, who will serve as Joe Flacco’s backup with rookie Drew Lock out with a sprained right thumb.

Also awarded to Denver were tight end Andrew Beck from New England, center Corey Levin from Tennessee and receiver/returner Diontae Spencer from Pittsburgh.

Spencer is a four-year veteran of the Canadian Football League who replaces River Cracraft. The 5-foot-8 speedster set career highs in receptions (81), yards receiving (1,007) and touchdowns (seven) last summer while playing for Ottawa.

Elway made clear Saturday after turning in his initial roster that he wasn’t finished building the 2019 Broncos, saying, “We’re going to try to get better when we see the (waiver) wire. If there’s someone on there that can make us better, then we’ll take advantage of it.”

Denver is placing Lock, tight end Jake Butt (knee) and receiving back Theo Riddick (shoulder) on injured reserve. They plan to add inside linebacker Corey Nelson pending a physical with Todd Davis‘ status uncertain. Nelson played for the Broncos from 2014-17 before spending a season in Atlanta.

Davis, the team’s leading tackler last season, has been sidelined since tearing a calf on the first day of training camp July 18. He hasn’t played since but will try to practice this week in hopes of playing in the opener at Oakland on Sept. 9.

Lock was emerging as the Broncos’ No. 2 QB when was sacked in an exhibition game against San Francisco and jammed his throwing hand into the grass, spraining his right thumb.

The Broncos are hoping he’ll be one of the two players they eventually recall from IR so that he can resume practicing with the team and continue his transition to a pro-style offense after running the spread at Missouri.

Allen, who threw for 162 yards against the Broncos two weeks ago, was one of five players cut by the Rams who were awarded to other teams off waivers Sunday.

He should be a quick study in Denver after spending the last two preseasons in Sean McVay’s scheme, which shares many core concepts with the system being installed by Broncos new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.