Much-needed help coming for Arizona Cardinals defensive line
By Jim Koch
Reports are surfacing that run-stuffing defensive tackle Domata Peko has agreed to financial terms with the Arizona Cardinals
The 2020 NFL campaign has not been kind to the defensive line of the Arizona Cardinals. A multitude of injuries has decimated the front wall of coordinator Vance Joseph‘s unit. Don’t fret Cards fans, it appears that help is on the way.
Reports are surfacing that Domata Peko, a veteran defensive tackle, has agreed to terms with the Cardinals. The longtime member of the Cincinnati Bengals has been sitting around, waiting for an opportunity that made sense for the soon-to-be 36-year old. Apparently, Peko feels that he has found that in the Arizona desert.
All three of the opening-day starters on the Cards defensive line (Corey Peters, Jordan Phillips, Zach Allen) have landed on the injured-reserve list. This past Thursday night, the Seattle Seahawks took full advantage of the team’s misfortune during a 28-21 victory over the Cardinals at Lumen Field. Seattle’s rushing attack, led by second-string running back Carlos Hyde, gashed Joseph’s defense for 165 yards on the ground.
Stopping the run just happens to be the strength of Peko’s game. The 6’3, 325 pounder has an impressive 600 tackles on his professional resume. Peko can pressure opposing signal-callers as well, as his 20 career sacks and 50 quarterback hits would indicate.
Peko has a familiarity with Joseph’s scheme, thanks to the time the pair spent together with the Bengals and the Denver Broncos. Joseph was the defensive backs coach of the Bengals for two seasons (2014-15) while Peko was with the club. The current boss of the Arizona defense also helped recruit the defender to the Rocky Mountains, when Joseph was the head coach of the Broncos for two campaigns (2017-18).
The mammoth Peko was a fourth-round selection of the Bengals back in 2006, and spent 11 years with that organization. The run-stuffer left that franchise in ’17 to sign a free agent contract with Denver. Peko also appeared in seven contests (three starts) for the Baltimore Ravens in 2019, registering 14 tackles for head coach John Harbaugh’s squad.