The Kansas City Chiefs were one of only two teams to attend Western Michigan’s pro day yesterday. Oddly enough, one of the players they were there to see isn’t draft-eligible at all. As Graham Couch of the Kalamazoo Gazette reports, Jamarko Simmons was a senior in 2009, went undrafted and signed with the Green Bay Packers.
Last summer, shortly before training camp, Simmons suffered an LF-s1 herniated disc in his back. The back itself wasn’t as much a problem as the nerve being pinched running down his right leg. If Simmons was hit the wrong way, he was told, he could be paralyzed.
Released by the Packers in early August, Simmons quickly underwent surgery in New York, hoping to be healthy by late in the season.
But an early December workout with the Detroit Lions ended when he broke a bone in his foot with “three routes left.”
“For about 15 years of my life playing football there wasn’t more than a sprain or a dislocated finger, nothing that would keep me out from playing,” Simmons said.
At 250 pounds, the 6-foot-2 wideout ran the 40-yard dash… in 4.66 seconds, a little more than a second off his time a year ago, when he weighed 231.
He caught every pass thrown his way by Hiller but one, showing the same vise-grip hands that made his bruising frame and deceptive speed all the more effective in college.
“I felt I had a pretty good showing, 20 pounds overweight,” said Simmons, who plans to lose 10-15 more pounds in the next month. “I’m thinking about playing a lot of H-back or tight end. It’s all what teams want, what teams need. I just want to show myself and get my name back on the radar so I can have another chance.”
If he can get himself in shape between now and the summer, Simmons could be an intriguing player at training camp. Besides the obvious “injury prone” tag, there will always be the people unwilling to see him as anything but a system wide receiver. While he is a completely different player, there were the same things being said about Greg Jennings after his time at Western Michigan.
Simmons has played running back, wide receiver and if he can play at 6-2/235 he could be helpful as a hybrid H-back-tight end.