Broncos bring back Keo, waive Peko

KUSA - Gary Kubiak must have known something.

The Denver Broncos’ head coach was asked Monday about the team’s decision to release strong safety Shiloh Keo two days earlier.

“I don’t think Shiloh will be out of work long,’’ Kubiak said during his day-after-game press conference. “He’s a good player and a great kid. He did a good job for us.”

Three days after his release, Keo is back with the Broncos after they reached agreement on a one-year contract. Keo had been scheduled to make the vet minimum $760,000 salary before he was hit with a two-game suspension.

To make room for Keo on their 53-man roster, the Broncos waived rookie defensive lineman Kyle Peko. Peko was inactive in each of the Broncos’ first two games. There’s a decent chance the Broncos will try to re-sign Peko to their practice squad.

Keo was suspended two games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy that stemmed from his DUI charge in mid-February. He played extensively with the Broncos through the offseason, training camp and preseason and was all over the field in the final preseason game at Arizona.

The timing of Keo's release Saturday – the day before the Broncos’ game Sunday against Indianapolis instead of waiting until after the game – was for administration purposes relating to termination pay and guarantee language. At the same time, the Broncos were confident they could re-sign Keo if one of their players did get banged up against the Colts.

Rookie safety Justin Simmons, who played 40 of the team’s 73 defensive snaps Sunday against the Colts, did wind up with a soft cast around his right wrist and hand Monday.

Without Keo, the Broncos were light on safeties. Starting free safety Darian Stewart played in all 73 snaps against the Colts and strong safety T.J. Ward was in for 66 snaps.

Rookie safety Will Parks played his first five NFL snaps against the Colts. So Keo will provide some safety relief.

Plus, the injury to linebacker DeMarcus Ware could mean fewer special teams snaps for outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, and Keo is an aggressive special teamer.

Keo had previously played for Kubiak and Broncos defensive coordinator Phillips with the Houston Texans from 2011-13. He had been out of football for almost two years when he signed with the Kubiak/Phillips’ coached Broncos last December.

Keo, 28, played in the final four regular-season games and two more in the postseason. He recovered an onside kick to seal the Broncos’ 20-18 victory against New England in the AFC Championship Game.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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