Jeffery Simmons

Titans Activate Jeffery Simmons From Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Titans are steadily seeing key players return to action after the team’s coronavirus outbreak. Top defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons is now back on Tennessee’s active roster after testing positive for COVID-19. This move follows the Titans’ activations of DaQuan Jones, Kristian Fulton and Adam Humphries.

Simmons landed on the Titans’ COVID list Oct. 3 but is now on track to play in Week 6. He will have missed only one game, with the Titans’ scheduled Week 4 contest against the Steelers having been converted to a bye week after the team’s issues with the virus.

Tennessee selected Simmons in the 2019 first round and saw the Mississippi State product bounce back quickly despite tearing his ACL before the ’19 draft. Likely a top-10 pick prior to the injury, Simmons has flashed as an interior defender in his limited time as a pro. In his most recent game, Simmons registered three QB hits and recorded a sack.

However, the Titans will be without one of their backup running backs for at least three weeks. They placed Darrynton Evans on IR to make room for Simmons’ return to the 53-man roster. A hamstring injury will sideline Evans, a rookie third-rounder out of Appalachian State. Drafted after the Titans cut Dion Lewis, Evans has just five carries this season. Jeremy McNichols resides as the only other back on Tennessee’s active roster, making it likely the team will make a move to add another player at this spot by Saturday’s transaction deadline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Place Jeffery Simmons On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Titans have placed one of their starters on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons landed on the list, joining at least eight of his teammates.

While players do not have to test positive for the coronavirus to be moved to the COVID list, the Titans — as of Saturday morning — have seen nine players test positive thus far amid the NFL’s first outbreak. Simmons could well be the unnamed ninth player, or the 2019 first-round pick could be a 10th.

One of the Titans’ top defenders, Simmons has played well thus far this season. The Titans landed him at No. 19 overall in 2019 because of the ACL tear he suffered prior to the draft. After trading Jurrell Casey to the Broncos, the Titans have Simmons entrenched as their top D-line disruptor.

Simmons is the highest-profile Titans player to be part of the organization’s COVID spread. The Titans now have first-round tackle Isaiah Wilson, second-round rookie corner Kristian Fulton, wideout Adam Humphries, long snapper Beau Brinkley, defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, linebacker Kamalei Correa and practice squad cogs Greg Mabin, Cameron Batson and Tommy Hudson on their reserve/COVID list.

Tennessee’s game against Pittsburgh has been moved to Week 7, with the Steelers’ first 2020 Ravens matchup being switched to Week 8. While the NFL expanded practice squads from 12 to 16 players because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is safe to say the Titans’ Week 5 game against the Bills is in doubt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Fine Updates: Simmons, Fisher, Williams, Bosa

The NFL will not fine Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons for conduct during Tennessee’s 28-12 victory in the divisional playoff round, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. After the contest, Ravens offensive guard Marshal Yanda accused Simmons of spitting on him during the contest. Per Hensley, the NFL found no evidence to substantiate those claims.

For what it’s worth, Simmons did not deny spitting on Yanda when he was asked about it on Wednesday. Had the NFL prooved that Simmons had indeed spit in his opponent’s face, he would have been subject to an unsportsmanlike conduct fine of $14,037.

A few other players were unable to avoid hits to their checkbooks:

  • Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher went viral online after he celebrated by pouring beer over himself during Kansas City’s divisional round victory over the Texans. While the NFL shared Fisher’s celebration on its official Twitter account, it appears the NFL’s marketers and executors of the codes of conduct are not on the same page. Fisher was fined $14,037 by the league on Saturday, when the league announced this week’s round of fines, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
  • Fisher was not the lone Chiefs player to receive a fine for a celebration, running back Damien Williams received a $10,527 fine for taunting, according to Tom Pelissero of After he scored his third touchdown in last week’s game, he placed the ball directly in front of a Texan defensive lineman, which cost the team a fifteen-yard penalty and now will cost Williams more than ten thousand dollars.
  • Defensive end Nick Bosa was fined $28,025 for an illegal blindside block in the 49ers 27-10 victory over the Vikings in last week’s divisional round, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. Normally a defensive player would not be subject to such a fine, but after his defensive teammate, Richard Sherman, intercepted one of Kirk Cousins passes, Bosa got overzealous in a block on offensive tackle Brian O’Neill that forced O’Neill to leave the game for a couple of series.

Titans Activate Rookie DL Jeffery Simmons

Incredibly, Jeffery Simmons could make his NFL debut as soon as this weekend.’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the first-rounder has been activated from the reserve/non-football injury list.

The Mississippi State-developed interior defender was viewed as a potential top-10 pick before suffering a torn ACL during pre-draft training. The Titans still made the lineman the 19th-overall pick with the understanding that he’d likely sit out his entire rookie campaign. That apparently won’t be the case; Rapoport notes that while the team will naturally be cautious with their investment, Simmons clearly proved in practice that he was ready to play.

Players have returned from ACL tears in playoff games in time for Week 1 of the following season, so a Simmons debut at some point over the next few weeks seems likely. That may also depend on Tennessee’s playoff prospects, which do not look especially promising after Sunday’s shutout loss.

Simmons registered 32.5 tackles for loss in three seasons at Mississippi State. The Titans are hoping he brings that pass-rushing prowess to the NFL.

The Titans weren’t finished making moves. Rapoport tweets that the team will also be promoting linebacker Derick Roberson from the practice squad. Earlier today, the team cut veteran defensive lineman Brent Urban.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Simmons To Make Titans Practice Debut

The Titans will see their first-round pick in practice for the first time soon. Jeffery Simmons will practice with the team this week, the Titans announced on their website.

Residing on the Titans’ NFI list, the rookie defensive lineman has been recovering from the ACL tear he suffered in February. NFI players can begin practicing with their teams after Week 6 while remaining off teams’ 53-man rosters.

Simmons’ debut would seem a ways away, given this injury’s timetable, but it’s nonetheless promising for the Titans to see him in on-field workouts. He traveled with the Titans to Denver this past weekend. Players have returned from ACL tears in playoff games in time for Week 1 of the following season, so a Simmons debut in the second half of this season would not be out of the question. That may also depend on Tennessee’s playoff prospects, which do not look especially promising after Sunday’s shutout loss.

The Titans will understandably want to be cautious with such a high-priority investment, so a full redshirt season — which was rumored in the offseason — should still be considered in play.

The Mississippi State-developed interior defender was viewed a potential top-10 pick before the injury and still went off the board 19th in a stacked class of defensive linemen. He registered 32.5 tackles for loss in three seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Reach 53-Man Limit

The Titans reached the 53-man limit on Saturday, mostly via cuts. They did, however, free up one roster spot by trading Taywan Taylor to the Browns.

Among the more notable cuts – quarterback Logan Woodside, running back Jeremy McNichols, and offensive lineman Corey Levin.

Here’s the complete rundown of the Titans’ Saturday slashing:


OL Hroniss Grasu
OL Austin Pasztor
TE Ryan Hewitt
DB Kenneth Durden
DB D’Andre Payne
DB JoJo Tillery
DB Michael Jordan
DB Kareem Orr
DB LaDarius Wiley
DL Chris Nelson
DL Braxton Hoyett
DL Frank Herron
DL Amani Bledsoe
LB Derick Roberson
LB Ukeme Eligwe
LB Quart’e Sapp
LB LaTroy Lewis
LB Eric Cotton
OL A.T. Hall
OL Aaron Stinnie
OL Corey Levin
OL Tyler Marz
P Austin Barnard
QB Logan Woodside
RB Akeem Hunt
RB Jeremy McNichols
RB Alex Barnes
TE Parker Hesse
WR DeAngelo Yancey
WR Anthony Ratliff-Williams
WR Papi White
WR Cody Hollister
WR Tanner McEvoy

DL Jeffery Simmons

LT Taylor Lewan

Latest On Jeffery Simmons’ Recovery

Despite two major issues that damaged his draft stock, DT Jeffery Simmons was selected by the Titans with the No. 19 overall pick of this year’s draft. When team owner Amy Adams Strunk signed off on the selection, that helped Simmons put one of those issues, an assault against a woman that Simmons committed while in high school, in the rearview mirror. And now, Simmons is a little closer to overcoming his second hurdle, a torn ACL that he suffered in February.

In early June, Simmons told Erik Bacharach of the Nashville Tennessean that he had not yet started running or jogging. He said, “I’m not rushing anything. If I don’t play this year, I’m fine with it, but my goal is to get healthy on my time and on this team’s time. There’s no time limit [on] when I can come back. Every day I come to work, I’m putting my mindset, you know, ‘I want to get back today.’ That’s how I come to work everyday and try to get better.”

But Simmons recently posted to his Instagram account a clip of himself running across a football field (h/t Titans Tape on Twitter). The clip is not long, and much of it is in slow motion, but the fact that he has been cleared to run is a major step in the right direction.

Of course, as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk points out, the fact that Simmons is running in a straight line does not mean that he will be ready to hit the practice field when training camp opens next month. He likely won’t be cleared until the end of the regular season, and depending on where the Titans are in the playoff race at that point, he may ultimately miss his entire rookie campaign. But progress is progress, and Tennessee is doubtlessly encouraged by this latest development.

The Titans’ D-line is still a bit thin outside of star Jurrell Casey, and Simmons’ presence could go a long way towards bolstering that unit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Sign First-Round DT Jeffery Simmons

The Titans have signed first-round defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, the club announced today.

Simmons was widely viewed as one of the best players in the 2019 class, but a number of issues forced him to fall until midway through the first round. First and foremost, the Mississippi State product was arrested for assaulting a woman during his senior year of high school (Simmons claims he was attempting to stop said woman from striking his sister). Second, Simmons tore his ACL in February, meaning he won’t be able to play for the Titans until late in 2019 or potentially 2020.

Once he is medically cleared, Simmons will join a Titans defensive line that boasts a start in Jurrell Casey but could still use a reinforcement. Casey led the Titans’ defensive line by ranking 14th in Pro Football Focus‘ positional grades, but no other Tennessee interior defender finished inside the top-45. As a unit, the Titans front four ranked just 22nd in adjusted sack rate and 28th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders.

As is standard for every first-round pick, Simmons will sign a four-year deal with a fifth-year option for the 2022 season. Per Over the Cap, Simmons’ four-year pact should have a value of roughly $12.664MM. He’ll collect a signing bonus of $7.23MM and will count for $2.303MM on Tennessee’s 2019 salary cap.

The Titans now have only two draft choices who remain unsigned: second-round receiver A.J. Brown and third-round guard Nate Davis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Owner Signed Off On Simmons Pick

In addition to a torn ACL, Mississipi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons gave many teams pause in the 2019 NFL Draft due to an assault of a woman while he was in high school. The Titans eventually made him the No. 19 pick in the draft, a selection that was cleared by team owner Amy Adams Strunk, Pro Football Talk’s Darin Gantt writes

Jon [Robinson] and Mike [Vrabel] came to me months ago, and we discussed since then,” Strunk said, via Erik Bacharach, of the Nashville Tennessean. “We watched the video together, and it begins with trust from Mike and Jon that I was able to get comfortable. They were both very respectful that I needed to be comfortable, because at the end of the day, I have the final decision.

“We all can look back on our lives in high school and wish we’d done things differently. You can talk, ‘I’m sorry,’ but the best thing is, is that he’s lived the life of, ‘I’m truly sorry and I’m going to be a good man.’ And so that made it really easy for me to become comfortable with Jeffery. And we’re getting a great football player, that goes without saying, but we’re getting a great man. Our locker room is so important, and we only have good men in there. And this young man is a good man.”

The incident, which happened in 2016 and involved Simmons striking a woman multiple times on the ground, happened while the defensive tackle was in high school, before he enrolled at Mississippi State. Due to the incident, many teams reportedly took the talented tackle completely off their draft boards. Simmons was touched by the remarks of his new team’s owner.

“I mean, coming from a woman, . . . like I said, I made that mistake,” Simmons said. “I regret it. Just to hear her say all that, I’m grateful. Key word she said was trust. [I’ll] tell her in front of you guys that she can trust me. I won’t let her down. I won’t let either one of you guys [Robinson and Vrabel] down. I’m grateful.”

Though one of the most talented defenders in the draft, Simmons could miss his entire rookie season with that torn ACL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Rumors: Bush, Redskins, Rams

Let’s round up the latest draft rumors in advance of tonight’s main event:

  • We heard several days ago that the Falcons were interested in trading into the Top 10, and that they had their sights set on defensive linemen like Christian Wilkins and offensive linemen. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network confirms that Atlanta is indeed interested in moving up, but his sources say the club’s target is actually linebacker Devin Bush (Twitter link). Per Pelissero, the Falcons would need to leapfrog the Broncos, who hold the No. 10 overall pick, to assure themselves of landing Bush.
  • Despite all of the rumors suggesting that the Redskins are interested in making a big trade up into the Top 5, Pro Football Talk says that all of the calls that team president Bruce Allen are making are just an example of Allen being Allen and that Washington doesn’t really have a desire to make a move (Twitter link).
  • Adam Schefter of tweets that the Rams, who hold the No. 31 overall pick in tonight’s draft, have received a number of calls from teams wanting to trade into the back end of the first round. First-rounders, of course, can be kept under club control for five years instead of four.
  • As Pelissero notes in a separate tweet, the teams that have shown the most interest in trading down from their current first-round slots are the Jets (No.3), Lions (No. 8), Dolphins (No. 13), Seahawks (Nos. 21 & 29), and Rams (No. 31).
  • If Kyler Murray should start to fall down the draft board, he may end up having a better financial future in baseball. As Albert Breer of notes, MLB’s Oakland A’s have offered him a $14MM “sweetener” on top of the $4.6MM bonus he was already due after the club drafted him last year, for a total of $18.66MM. That number would land between the 10th and 11th overall picks in tonight’s NFL draft, so if Murray ends up falling that far, teams are concerned that he would return to the diamond. But Breer still thinks that Murray will be the No. 1 overall pick tonight.
  • Breer calls Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons the most interesting prospect in the draft. He is one of the top defensive players in his class, but the troubling video showing him striking a woman in high school, along with his ACL tear, have completely removed him from some teams’ draft boards. But there is still a good chance that he will be selected in the first round tonight.
  • The Panthers and Vikings are both very serious about addressing their needs along the offensive line with early draft picks, as Breer notes in a separate piece. Both clubs used a high number of top-30 visits on O-linemen.
  • LSU cornerback Andraez “Greedy” Williams is perhaps the most talented corner in the draft, but as Breer notes, he comes with plenty of red flags concerning his toughness, work ethic, and personality. He did not make a single pre-draft visit, and despite his upside, he could slip out of the first round.