Part of the value in the Arizona Cardinals drafting Isaiah Simmons eighth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft was his versatility.
With top-level speed and an ability to cover the field like few linebackers at the college level, Simmons was used for Clemson at a variety of positions, including safety.
So when the Cardinals were ravaged by injuries leading up to Sunday’s matchup with the Carolina Panthers, missing safeties Budda Baker, Chris Banjo and Jalen Thompson, the question was proposed if Simmons should slide there to help.
After all, he only played 35 total snaps over the team’s first three games. This would find him playing time as well, and had him practice there during the week.
Alas, head coach Kliff Kingsbury declined to play him much in a 31-21 loss. Curtis Riley had a rough game at safety trying to fill in, and Kingsbury was asked after the game why Simmons only played 10 snaps.
“We’re still trying to work him in,” Kingsbury said. “We want to put him in positions to be successful, to understand our scheme. It’s a work in progress still. No offseason, no preseason — we knew it would take some time.
“We’re a month in now and I think he is progressing but we’re going to continue to try and find ways to get him in where he can have success.”
Simmons finished with one tackle in the game as the questions continue on why the first-round pick isn’t getting a lot of time on the field.