Continuing to bolster their defensive line, the Ravens have signed 34-year-old tackle Domata Peko, who started 16 games for the Denver Broncos last season.
To make room for Peko on the 53-man roster, fifth-round rookie defensive tackle Daylon Mack (knee) was placed on injured reserve. Mack had played in just one game this season.
The 6-foot-3, 325-pound Peko has been a solid run defender during his 13-year career, playing his first 11 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Broncos in 2017. Peko expressed his excitement about joining the Ravens on social media.
“Headed to Baltimore. So thankful @ravens. Back to the NORTH!!” Peko wrote on Instagram. “Year 14 gonna be the best yet!! It’s time!”
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Peko’s one-year deal will pay him $1 million for the remainder of the season.
Peko had 31 tackles, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits with Denver last season. The presence of Peko and Ellis becomes more important due to the ankle injury suffered by Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce in Cincinnati on Sunday. Pierce is having another strong season, but he played just three snaps against the Bengals and his availability for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans is uncertain. Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that he’s “day-to-day.”
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Brandon Williams picked up the slack for Pierce against the Bengals by playing a season-high 78.7 percent of the defensive snaps. However, that is more than the Ravens want Williams to play each week, and Baltimore’s run defense has historically suffered when either Williams or Pierce is not in the lineup. The Texans are averaging the fourth-most rushing yards per game (142.8) in the NFL this season.
Peko and Ellis will try to get up to speed quickly this week, much like linebackers Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort did earlier this season when they were signed. Bynes and Fort have been solid additions to a Ravens defense that has played well during their current five-game winning streak. The Ravens hope for a similar quick impact from their pair of veteran defensive tackles.