Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons was surrounded by both character and injury concerns when the team selected him with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
But all of that has since cleared up, and Simmons made his impact felt much earlier on than previously anticipated during his rookie campaign.
Some predicted Simmons would miss the entire season as he continued to recover from an ACL tear that could have required up to 24 months to bounce back from.
Simmons made quick progress to return in 2019 and is now well on his way to accomplishing one of his most important personal goals for 2020 —shedding the knee brace he wore last season.
The Tennessean’s Erik Bacharach made note of this on Twitter earlier in the week, mentioning he hadn’t seen Simmons without the brace at any point in 2019’s practices.
The former Mississippi State Bulldog appeared in nine games for the Titans last year, recording 32 total tackles (18 solo), two sacks and one pass defensed.
That’s a solid stat line for any player’s first season at the professional level, but even more so for one who didn’t make his debut until Week 7.
Expect Simmons to show up for the Titans’ defense in a big way this year as he looks to start his second season at full capacity.