Baltimore Ravens

With need to bolster thin defensive line, Ravens sign veteran DTs Justin Ellis, Domata Peko

After defensive tackle Michael Pierce suffered an ankle injury in the Ravens’ 49-13 win Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals, the team was left thin on interior linemen on the defensive front.

The Ravens on Tuesday announced the signing of veteran defensive lineman Justin Ellis. The team announced the signing of defensive lineman Domata Peko on Wednesday, further bolstering its depth.


Ellis, 28, was placed on injured reserve by the Oakland Raiders on Aug. 31 and released Oct. 8. A former fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft, Ellis has started 42 games over five seasons, registering 119 combined tackles and six tackles for loss.

Peko, 34, most recently played for the Denver Broncos in the 2018 season. He started all 16 games, recording 31 combined tackles, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits. A former fourth-round pick in the 2006 draft, Peko played 11 seasons with the Bengals before signing with the Broncos in 2017. According to the NFL Network, Peko’s deal will pay him $1 million for the rest of the season.

Raiders defensive tackle Justin Ellis (78) during training camp Monday, July 29, 2019, in Napa, Calif.

Pierce played just three snaps, and the Bengals rushed for a season-high 157 yards, the most rushing yards allowed by the Ravens defense since Week 4. Coach John Harbaugh said Pierce is “day-to-day” and that there is a chance he could play this Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Pierce’s absence forced defensive tackle Brandon Williams, who coach John Harbaugh on Monday said was a “force,” to play a season-high 78.7% of the defensive snaps. Young defensive linemen Chris Wormley and Zach Sieler also saw their playing time increase, and fullback-defensive lineman Patrick Ricard played 12 snaps on defense.

Baltimore Ravens Insider


Want the inside scoop on the Ravens? Become a Ravens Insider and you'll have access to news, notes and analysis from The Sun.

The team announced Wednesday that it has placed rookie defensive lineman Daylon Mack on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Mack surfaced on the team’s injury report on Friday with a knee and hip injury. A fifth-round pick in April’s draft, Mack has appeared in just one game this season.


The Ravens also announced Tuesday that they have activated rookie cornerback Iman Marshall from injured reserve to the 53-man roster. In corresponding moves, the team announced it has waived cornerback/punt returner Cyrus Jones (Gilman) and defensive end Ufomba Kamalu.

Jones was a healthy scratch on Sunday after muffing a punt in the team’s 37-20 win over the New England Patriots two weeks ago. The team signed wide receiver/return specialist De’Anthony Thomas two days later and he was the primary return man Sunday.