NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans' plan to activate first-round draft pick Jeffrey Simmons for practice next week and hope he makes his NFL debut on Oct. 20 at Nissan Stadium against the Chargers.Simmons2

Simmons has been on the Non-Football Injury list since the season started, which meant he could not practice with the team or play for six games.

The Titans play their sixth game Sunday in Denver.

Unlike a player who is removed from IR, there is no built-in wait period between the return to practice and the return to game-play.

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So if all goes well in his first practice week, the Titans would like to use Simmons in a limited role against Los Angeles.

Simmons had surgery in February to repair a torn ACL suffered in NFL Combine preparations.

It knocked down his draft status because his rehabilitation meant he would not be ready to contribute to his new team for half his rookie season or more.

The Titans choose the Mississippi State interior defensive linemen 19th overall.

His rehabilitation has gone well. During Titans’ practices, he’s regularly been at work with a trainer on a side field.

The NFI return rule per the NFL:

Beginning on the sixth calendar day prior to a club’s seventh regular season game (including any bye week) clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness for a period not to exceed 21 days. Players may be activated during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, provided that no player may be activated to participate in a Week 6 game.

The Injured Reserve rule is different. So while Ryan Succop (knee) may return to practice after Week 6, he cannot play for the two weeks following that. In that scenario, he can't return until Week 9.

Photo courtesy Mississippi State athletics.

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