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Cardinals Sign Domata Peko To Help Thin Defensive Line

QB Kyler Murray will see how banged-up shoulder is at practice Tuesday

Defensive lineman Domata Peko, here after making a play for the Broncos against the Cardinals in 2018, has now signed with the Cardinals.
Defensive lineman Domata Peko, here after making a play for the Broncos against the Cardinals in 2018, has now signed with the Cardinals.

Their defensive line hurting, the Cardinals made official the long-anticipated signing of veteran Domata Peko Sr. on Monday.

Peko, who played for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph in Denver and was also with the Bengals when Joseph was the defensive backs coach there, is in his 15th season. He turns 36 later this week.

Peko appeared in seven games for the Ravens last season, with 14 tackles. He spent the first 11 years of his career in Cincinnati and then two seasons with the Broncos. He has 20 career sacks.

"We're excited about the signing," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "VJ has some history there. I only just met him (Monday) but I have heard great things about his attitude, his energy. He's a guy who has played at a high level in this league for a long time. We'll see how he is this week and what he can handle, and we're hopeful he can contribute at some point moving forward."

The 6-foot-3, 325-pounder gives the Cards an option in the middle after veteran nose tackle Corey Peters was lost for the season with a knee injury. The Cardinals currently have their top five defensive linemen all on injured reserve -- Peters, Jordan Phillips, Zach Allen and rookies Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence.

Lawrence has already moved to the returned-to-practice portion of his IR stay. Allen is also eligible to do that at any point right now.

Cardinals fans might remember Peko from his infamous role in the Cardinals-Bengals "Sunday Night Football" game in 2015. In a tie game and the clock ticking down with the Cards in field goal range, the Cardinals lined up to spike the ball. Guard Ted Larsen jumped, and a false start would've meant an automatic 10-second runoff and overtime. But Peko, on the Bengals' defensive line, was flagged for simulating the snap count. On the next play, Chandler Catanzaro kicked the game-winning field goal.


After quarterback Kyler Murray hurt his right shoulder when Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap fell on him during a play -- Murray played the rest of the game and said he was OK -- Kingsbury said Murray was "working through" the problem.

"We'll see how he feels (Tuesday) out on the grass and see where we are at practice-wise, whether we need to make any adjustments or if he can cut it loose," Kingsbury said.

After the mini-bye this weekend and with Thanksgiving this week, Kingsbury adjusted the Cardinals' practice schedule so the team does work Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with Thursday a non-practice day. Murray is scheduled to speak with the media Tuesday.

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