Justin Simmons Injury

During Denver’s Week 1 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, safety Justin Simmons was injured in the thigh, putting him out for at least a month. Simmons was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday afternoon after playing every defensive snap in Monday night’s 17-16 loss to the Seahawks. Simmons, the Broncos’ iron man, will now miss the team’s next four games.

He won’t be available to play again until October 16 against the Los Angeles Chargers. With Simmons’ departure, the Broncos elevated cornerback Essang Bassey to his prior position and added free agent safety Anthony Harris, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, to their practice squad. With the Broncos, Bassey, 24, has participated in 13 games over the last two seasons, while Harris, 30, has played in 95 games overall.

Simmons is a team captain and has been honored with first-team All-Pro and second-team All-Pro honors during his career. When asked about Simmons’ status before Wednesday’s practice, coach Nathaniel Hackett would only say that he was “going to miss some time.” The Broncos had already decided to place Simmons on injured reserve and sign Harris.

If asked explicitly about Simmons’ availability for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, Hackett stated, “We’re still analyzing everything, getting a sense for what’s going to happen… but we’re thinking he’s going to lose sometime.”

Simmons, 28, has started the previous 66 games, including Monday’s season opener. He played every snap (nearly 3,211 in total) from the beginning of the 2018 season through the fourth quarter of the Broncos’ Week 3 triumph over the New York Jets last season.

The three defensive plays he missed in the 26-0 win over the Jets and the two defensive plays he missed on Dec. 26 against the Las Vegas Raiders were the only ones he had missed since the 2018 season began.

He was out for the final three games of 2017 due to an ankle injury. Simmons made nine tackles and a fumble recovery against the Seahawks. He did not appear to be in any pain as he walked off the field Monday night, but he reported feeling sore the following day.

Justin Simmons Injury

“It’s impossible to replace a guy like Justin Simmons,” said safety Kareem Jackson. The things he does for our defense and the way he leads us as a team in the locker room are invaluable. “It’s not easy.

It seems anticipated that the Broncos will insert Caden Sterns, a fifth-round pick in the 2021 draft, into the starting lineup in lieu of Simmons. For his part, Jackson remarked, “Caden Sterns [had] played a ton of ball in this league He’s definitely ready for the circumstance, ready for the opportunity.”

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Career

Justin Simmons Injury

He was given the franchise tag by the Broncos on March 13, 2020. On July 14, 2020, he put pen to paper on a one-year, $11.441 million tender. Simmons led the team with 8 tackles and his first interception of the season came in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he picked off a pass thrown by Ben Roethlisberger in a 26-21 loss.

Simmons intercepted Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass in the end zone with 1:05 remaining in Week 11’s game, ending the Dolphins’ comeback effort and securing a Broncos victory. The Dolphins trailed 20-13 at the time.

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Simmons received a lot of votes and was selected for the 2021 Pro Bowl on December 21st, 2020. Simmons tied his career high with five interceptions on the year off a pass from Derek Carr in Week 17’s 32-31 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

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