Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Broncos safety Justin Simmons set to bless underserved communities this holiday season

The Denver Broncos defense got pushed to the limit Sunday in their game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Denver pulled out an incredible comeback win, 31-30, on a game-winning touchdown as time expired, and after the defense logged nearly 36 minutes on the field (L.A. led time of possession 35:53 to 24:07).

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According to ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, the 87 snaps were the most for the Denver D since 2013. And there were three Broncos who played each of those 87 snaps: LB Alexander Johnson, CB Bryce Callahan and the leader of the defense, safety Justin Simmons. On the Chargers’ third play of the game, Simmons slid in for his second interception of the season:

A tiring afternoon, for sure, but that’s a standard game for Simmons, who played every single defensive snap for Denver in 2018 and 2019. And it’s another reason Broncos fans hope the team can sign the third-round pick from 2016 to a long-term contract. The team placed the franchise tag on Simmons in March, and he signed a one-year tender worth $11.4 million in July.

The Denver metro area also hopes Simmons sticks around, as the 26-year-old is one of the team’s community leaders. And he made a big announcement Monday. Through the Justin Simmons Foundation, which was launched earlier this year, Simmons announced the launch of a virtual fundraising campaign to support families in need.

“The campaign, ’31 For The Holidays,’ will sponsor 31 families from underserved communities this holiday season,” read a statement. “Support will be provided for meals, utility bill assistance and gifts for kids.”

The campaign will run for 31 days — November 2 through December 2 — and the goal is to receive at least 310 donations at a minimum of $31.

Said Simmons, “We are excited to provide support for families in need this holiday season as our first foundation initiative. It is our hope that this effort will bring some relief and joy to families who have been most affected by these challenging times.”

It’s another example of Simmons aiming to spread the love of Christ. He joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast in July 2019 and shared about his relationship with God.

“My walk with the Lord has been an amazing journey. One of the things I love about my sport is the platform that comes with it. The bigger the platform, the more people I’m able to touch with the truth of the Gospel and just my relationship with the Lord. That’s the biggest thing I’m thankful for,” he said.

Thus, he yearns to inspire others to put their faith in God.

“Christ saved me from myself and I love to share that with different people because you never know where people are with their walk and their faith,” Simmons said.

For the Fall 2020 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine, Simmons shared that Colossians 3:17 has had a large impact on the way he lives his life.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” — Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

“That verse is pretty self-explanatory but it’s just how I’ve wanted to model my life, whether I’m speaking life into people or speaking in general, whatever I’m doing. Actions-wise, right now it happens to be football, but regardless, when that’s all said and done, anything that I’m doing pertaining to life, I want it to honor the Lord. And I make sure I’m holding that in high regards.”

Simmons’ heart to honor God is the heart on which his foundation, which he runs with his wife Taryn, is built. Anyone wanting to make a donation toward “31 For The Holidays” can visit JustinSimmonsFoundation.org/Holidays.

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