Denver Broncos nose tackle Domata Peko will not be able to take the field with his teammates on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Peko went down with a left knee injury during a Week 12 loss to the Oakland Raiders. He did not return to field that day, and he has not been able to participate in practice. On Friday the Broncos ruled him out against the Dolphins, which will be Peko’s first missed game since 2009. He has played 123 consecutive games.
“It’s kind of weird,” Peko said, via DenverBroncos.com. “I was talking to one my other teammates about it. I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t even know.’ It’s been a while. I forgot what it feels like to miss practice. When I’m seeing all my guys go out there to work and just sitting in there in the training room, it gets lonely in there. I’m just going to work my tail off and try to get a new streak going. One hundred and twenty-three, man, I thank God for that.”
That is an outstanding accomplishment for Peko, who was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played for them through the 2016 season. The Broncos signed during the offseason to try and improve a run defense that struggled last year.
While 2017 has largely a disappointment for the Broncos , the Peko signing has been a big win. They had the fourth-worst run defense in the league in 2016, and for this entire season their run defense has been towards the top of the league.
Peko is likely not a Hall of Fame player, but by showing up for work every day he has done something that is almost impossible to do as an NFL football player.