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Ravens release PR Cyrus Jones, sign 2 defensive tackles and shuffle rookies

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Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Ahead of this week’s matchup against the Houston Texans, the Ravens made a series of roster moves on Tuesday.

With the status of Michael Pierce (ankle) up in the air, the Ravens were thin at the interior of their defensive line, even more so with rookie Daylon Mack heading to injured reserve. Thus, it’s clear why Eric DeCosta acted quickly to bring in reinforcements and the decision to sign two defensive tackles likely means Pierce isn’t going to play in Week 11.

Justin Ellis was released by the Raiders earlier this season after dealing with multiple injuries over the past couple years. Prior to that, however, Ellis had started a combined 42 games for Oakland since his rookie season in 2014. In 66 career games, he’s recorded 80 solo tackles, three QB hits and six tackles for loss.

The other DT the Ravens signed, Domata Peko, is a 13-year veteran who the Ravens are quite familiar with. Peko played 11 seasons with the Bengals before signing with the Broncos in 2017. Peko has started in 186 of his 201 career games, posting 20 sacks, 50 QB hits and 47 tackles for loss, while also adding 589 combined tackles.

Ellis and Peko are far from being shoe-ins to produce but at the very least, they provide capable bodies with several years of experience at the position. With only Brandon Williams and Patrick Ricard healthy at defensive tackle, that’s much-needed. DT Ufomba Kamalu was waived to make room for these new additions.

The Ravens also activated rookie CB Iman Marshall, who has spent the entire season on injured reserve up until this point. Marshall doesn’t figure to work his way into the secondary rotation with so many talented players ahead of him but will see snaps on special teams, where he could be valuable asset.

Marshall takes the place of CB Cyrus Jones, who the Ravens waived. Jones, 25, was signed by the Ravens last season and immediately stepped in as the team’s primary punt returner, a role he held until last week. Jones was a healthy-scratch against the Bengals and the Ravens deployed recently-signed WR De’Anthony Thomas at PR in his place.

Jones had some nice moments for Baltimore, albeit in a short tenure. However, his fumble against the Patriots was costly in the moment and ultimately proved to be his downfall. In 19 games with the Ravens, Jones returned 30 punts for 372 yards and a touchdown.