Shields Not Ready to hang up his Cleats

All Pro Guard Will Shields has drawn a line in the sand. Unless the Chiefs tell him to quit, he plans on playing in 2005. That's good news for Kansas City fans and even better news for the rest of his mates who know how valuable he is to this team.

After a three day visit to the back doctor, Will Shields returned to River Falls on Tuesday afternoon and declared himself motivated to play this season. However, there is no timetable when he might return. Now when he returns is anyone's guess.

"For now Shields is waiting on another report from a back specialist. "We have another doctor who is going to check it out today and give me a call me back. Once we have all of the results, we will let you know. I am feeling better today than the other day," Shields told reporters.

As it was in the off-season and in training camp, Shields says all the right things about coming back in 2005 but his body just might not allow it. After playing in 191 consecutive games, eventually the joints and muscles in the body bite back. That appears to be the case for Shields who has a lot to consider including how healthy he'll be when his paying days are over. But it's more than just the back that is giving him fits.

"It was just overall. There is more to it than just the back. There is the back, the knee, the elbow; there is old age and all of the above in consideration of future in order to function normally for your family," Shields says.

Shields to his credit has made a lot of money in his NFL career and from all accounts he has some solid people in his camp that have advised him very well; so playing another year isn't about the coin not when you're body is screaming at you to stop playing. He like most of the other veterans on the team believes that the 2005 version of the Kansas City Chiefs has a legitimate shot at making a strong post season run.

"I just think it is anytime you are a professional athlete or an athlete in general you just want to play regardless of what it is," Shields said. "You always want to be on the field and do the best you can. There have been times that you are like I just was not as productive as I could have been. You still go out there and be as productive as you can be."

But at the end of the day, Shields still wants to play football. "There is a lot of camp left. It is not like I am sitting around not doing anything. There is a lot of work I am doing at it. I am pretty sure I will be OK."

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