NASHVILLE – Jeffery Simmons doesn’t have a return date marked on his calendar.
Right now, the Titans first-round pick is focused on rehabbing, working, learning the playbook and getting himself ready to go as soon as possible.
Of course he'd love to play in 2019, but right now he's focused on what has to come first. Plus, he knows that decision will be up to the medical staff.
“I’m not rushing anything,” Simmons said on Tuesday following the team’s minicamp. “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 and when I can come back. Every day I come to work, and I’m putting my mindset at ‘I want to get back today.’ That’s how I come to work every day and try to get better.”
Simmons, the 19th overall pick of the NFL Draft, suffered a torn ACL during a workout in February. After he was picked, the Titans said they’d let the big defensive lineman rehab with the team, and chart his progress.
So when the Titans have been practicing, Simmons has been working inside on his rehab and in the weight room.
"I knew coming in this was the plan,” Simmons said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity, that they trusted me that I’m going to come in and get the work done off the field. I’m trusting the process. It’s not too frustrating right now. My goal is to get healthy and when I get back on the field, it’s full go."
Simmons was a beast at Mississippi State, racking up 163 tackles, seven sacks, 32.5 tackles for a loss and four forced fumbles in three seasons. He began the offseason as a potential top-10 pick.
He wants to be an impact player for the Titans, in time.
“While they practice, that’s when I’m in the weight room,” he said. “I get here in the morning, do my rehab, stay here after and do rehab. Like I said, whatever the plan they tell me to do, that’s what I follow. … And the playbook, I am attacking the playbook just like I am attacking the rehab.
"I am just coming in here and following the plan, and doing what they ask me to do. Honestly, I’m not sure (when I’ll be allowed to jog). I’m just trusting the plan, coming to work every day, just getting better every day. Whenever that time comes, I can’t wait.”
The Tennessee Titans select Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons in the first round (19th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft. (Photos: AP, Mississippi State)
Titans top draft pick Jeffery Simmons joined former Titans at a season ticket member luncheon at the Country Music Hall of Fame. (Photos: Donn Jones)
New Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons is introduced to reporters in Nashville. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)