Sam Shields, a year away from the game, is determined to play in the NFL again. This, despite — I don’t know, we’ve lost count — six concussions?
We knew Shields wanted to come back in February. That he had been preparing for the opportunity.
Not surprisingly — and also unfortunate for Shields — is that the opportunity is with the Cleveland Browns.
Former Packers’ CB Sam Shields is resuming his NFL career and will start visiting teams this week, including the Browns, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2018
We have advocated for the Packers to re-sign Shields. The caveat for anyone who signs Shields is this — another concussion and he’s done with football. He has said as much. And as he should be, but that’s a risk for the team that brings him in.
The Browns. At this point, not surprising.
John Dorsey, Alonzo Highsmith, Eliot Wolf… that front office knows what Shields can do, when healthy. Highsmith is the guy who found Shields, one of the great undrafted free agent signings credited to Ted Thompson.
The Packers released Shields in February of 2017. He played one game that season and then spent most of the rest of it on injured reserve.
And that’s the thing. It’s not like, I tore my ACL and I’ll be back, good as new a year later. It’s if I land and my head hits the ground I’m probably concussed, can’t remember my kids’ names, might go away six months from now and, also, I am not playing football anymore.
For the team, there’s risk/reward there.
For a team as desperate as the Browns, it’s probably just potential reward.
And as much as I wanted the Packers to bring Shields back for the on-field ramifications, because the Packers need that guy, I can’t in good conscious abide by that. The guy is going to land wrong. His head is going to bounce off the turf. He’ll have a concussion. He’ll be fucked.
These things don’t get lesser in severity. They get greater.
Shields won’t even remember he played for the Browns, which is a plus. But not the way he’s going to arrive at it.