Broncos place Justin Simmons on injured reserve, promote Essang Bassey to active roster

ENGLEWOOD, Col. — The Broncos will be without their Pro Bowl safety for at least four weeks, as the Broncos placed Justin Simmons on injured reserve on Wednesday.

Simmons, who has twice been named a second-team All-Pro selection, played all 55 of the Broncos’ defensive snaps in Week 1 but suffered a quad injury, according to Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett. He tied for the team lead in tackles with nine, and he recorded a fumble recovery.

In accordance with NFL rules, players on injured reserve may return to the active roster after missing a minimum of four games. Each team is eligible to designate up to eight players to return from IR during the season.

If Simmons is able to recover in time, he would be eligible to return to the field as early as the Broncos’ Week 6 game against the Chargers. Hackett did not provide a specific timeline but said Simmons would miss some time.

Simmons, who has missed just six defensive snaps since the start of the 2018 season, has not been sidelined for more than three games in a season previously in his career.

In corresponding moves, the Broncos promoted practice-squad cornerback Essang Bassey to the active roster and signed veteran safety Anthony Harris to the practice squad.

Bassey, a third-year player, has appeared in 14 career games, including 13 with the Broncos. As a rookie, he played in 12 games, including three starts, and recorded an interception, two passes defended, a fumble recovery and 23 tackles.

Harris has appeared in 95 career games in seven seasons and started 61 of those contests. Over the past four seasons, Harris recorded 10 interceptions, 27 assists defended, 163 total tackles, five tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a defensive touchdown.

Most recently, Harris spent the 2021 season in Philadelphia, starting all 14 games in which he appeared. He recorded 72 total tackles, an interception and three passes defended.

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