GREEN BAY – Sam Shields’ unnecessary risk will likely cost the Green Bay Packers defense his services Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Monday that his No. 3 cornerback did indeed suffer a concussion when he eschewed taking a knee on his end-zone interception in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 24-3 victory over St. Louis. When Shields tried to bring the ball out of the end zone, he was walloped by Rams wide receiver Brandon Gibson. McCarthy said Shields will go through the requisite post-concussion protocols, and he would have to be cleared for action my an independent neurologist before returning to the field.
“I think he learned a lesson yesterday,” McCarthy said Monday. “You don’t want to take away the aggressiveness of your players, particularly defensive players, and our ability to score or make big returns. You can’t have it both ways. But any time you handle the football, you’re a primary decision maker, whether you’re a quarterback, the running back, receiver. The ball in your hands, you have to make good decisions. After the first guy he was able to get away from there, there were a lot of white shirts there. Just be smart. You don’t want players taking unnecessary hits in this game. We all know how tough it is when you lose players to injuries, and when you have an injury that is unnecessary, you have to learn from that.”
Shields’ play had picked up in recent games, which made his injury all the more disappointing.
“Sam’s pick is typical Sam. That’s what he does. It was textbook,” fellow cornerback Tramon Williams said. “I guess you’ve got to learn the hard way sometimes. We hope we can have him back for the next game.”
In addition, McCarthy said outside linebacker Frank Zombo, seeing his first action of the season after a preseason broken shoulder blade, hyperextended his knee. Zombo said nothing about the injury after the game.
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