Sam Shields gets concussion on interception return

Green Bay - Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields probably avoided a butt-chewing for trying to bring an interception out from the end zone late in the third quarter.

But there are better ways to do it than suffering a concussion.

Shields may have to miss the Minnesota Vikings game next week because of his decision to return a ball he caught 7 yards deep in the end zone.

Shields had inside position on quarterback Sam Bradford's poorly thrown fade route to receiver Danario Alexander and reached up with two hands to snare it in the back corner of the end zone. He then took off running laterally across the end zone before eventually being tackled and struck hard.

NFL rules state that is not a safety because the pass was not a defensive play that pinned Shields in the end zone. The rules did not save him from getting clobbered, however.

"You have to make smart decisions with the football," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It probably wasn't the best decision."

Shields' teammate, Charles Woodson, had some advice for the second-year pro.

"He should have come out the same place where he caught it, instead of trying to reverse field," Woodson said. "He lost vision of who was on the other side of the field and took a pretty good shot.

"We have to get him to look upfield first instead of across the field."

It's not the first time Shields has made a bad decision on an interception return. His game-clinching pick against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game came close to being a fumble recovered by the Bears after he chose not to kneel down in the final seconds.

The way concussions are treated in the NFL now, it's no slam dunk that Shields will be back next week. He'll have to go through a series of tests and be cleared by an independent neurologist before being able to play.

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