Titans DT Jeffery Simmons not rushing return

The Tennessee Titans used a first-round pick on defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons knowing he might not be able to play this season after tearing an ACL in February.

Speaking to the media for the first time since the draft, Simmons said Tuesday after Titans minicamp practice that he's not rushing the process, even if that means missing the entire 2019 campaign.

"I'm not rushing anything," Simmons said, via The Tennessean. "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, 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."

Simmons was projected to go higher than the No. 19 spot where he landed with Tennessee before the ACL tear happened while training. If everything goes right, the normal timeline for recovery from such an injury would make a return possible at the end of the season. The Titans could also decide to give him an entire year to rehab.

The DT has yet to start jogging and isn't sure when he'll be able to start that portion of the rehabilitation process.

The Titans made the Simmons selection with a mind on the future. Pairing the Mississippi State product with perennially underrated Jurrell Casey could give Tennessee a devastating duo. Eventually. For now, the rookie isn't pushing the process.

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