ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Rookie safety Justin Simmons' week in the spotlight continued Wednesday when he was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Simmons was instrumental in the Broncos' 25-23 comeback win over the New Orleans Saints with an extra point block that came after he leapt over the line of scrimmage.
The Broncos' reserve free safety hurdled over the snapper, jumped again and deflected Saints kicker Will Lutz's kick. The ball bounced right to fellow rookie safety Will Parks, who returned the ball all the way to the Saints end zone for two points and a 25-23 win.
The play was just the third of its kind since the rule was implented before the 2015 season. A team had never before won a game on a similar-type play.
Simmons, a rookie out of Boston College, has seen extensive time on defense this season in a nickel and reserve safety role. Though Simmons missed time with a hand injury, the third-round pick has proven to be a valuable asset for both Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis.
This award marks the 26th time that a Broncos player has earned the token since it was created in 1993. Kicker Matt Prater (Dec. 8, 2013) was the last player to win the award. Simmons joins former defensive end Shane Dronett as the last Broncos player to win the award after blocking the kick.
The Broncos defeated the Saints 25-23 in an epic finish at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Photos by Eric Bakke, unless noted)