While Shields wasn’t in coverage for all of Julio Jones’ 11 receptions for 259 yards, he did find himself on the bench for the final 21 snaps of the Green Bay Packers’ victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
“There was a lot going through my head,” Shields said on Wednesday. “It was frustration. You don’t want to be on the sideline.”
It was the end of a trying eight days for Shields. He sustained a concussion during the second quarter of last Sunday’s win over New England. After spending the week shaking off the cobwebs, Shields had “just a jog” and some “mental reps” at Sunday’s practice. He then was thrown into the fray against one of the most gifted receivers in the league and one of its top quarterbacks. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Shields gave up three completions (in six attempts) for 66 yards and a 22-yard touchdown when covering Jones and 4-of-8 overall for 75 yards.
“It’s very tough,” Shields said. “Just going in without practice, not getting the proper little steps on. Getting into gametime, you have no choice but to get your mind right.”
No one has said Shields was benched. Coach Mike McCarthy, who on Tuesday made it a point to say Shields was still “our guy,” called it a “rotation,” though playing all but one of the first 46 snaps to start the game and none of the final 21 doesn’t sound like much of a rotation. Davon House, who replaced Shields for the final two series, said he learned he was entering the game only after covering a kickoff. Shields said the team was “just being cautious” after coming off a concussion.
Regardless, Shields can’t wait for Sunday. With a four-year, $39 million contract inked just before the start of free agency, Shields is being paid to be an upper-echelon cornerback. He didn’t play like one against the Falcons, and he’s looking forward to getting the bad taste from that game out of his mouth.
“Very eager,” he said. “A short week, this week everybody is just getting their bodies back right. Most important is just going to the film room, getting those mental reps, things like that. It’s a short week, we’ll be ready. It’ll be difficult, you know how it is on the road. We’ll get ready this week and get ready to go.”firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.