Rams corner Sam Shields back in pads for the first time in two years

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The first day in pads generally represents the real start of training camp.

For Rams cornerback Sam Shields, it represents something much bigger.

Via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com, the 30-year old Shields practiced in full pads Sunday, the first time he’s done so since a concussion ended his 2016 season after one game, and nearly cost him his career. He sat out all of last season before the Rams gave him a chance, cognizant of his four known concussions.

“It’s hard mentally for anybody to come back and put these pads on,” Shields said. “But like I said before, I’m just happy to be here with my brothers. That’s the most important part.”

Shields said he had to put aside fear of another traumatic brain injury, something he thought about constantly during his extended absence.

“I think I made the right choice,” he said. “You’ve got to be mentally strong.”

The Rams have been encouraged by what he’s shown, even in a deep group that includes offseason trade acquisitions Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib.

“He’s doing a great job,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of Shields. “Elite man-to-man skills, unbelievable lateral agility and just short-space quickness. He’s a great guy. . . . We’re hoping he’s able to stay healthy.”

That hope is tempered with reality, and plenty of breath-holding by those around him.

8 responses to “Rams corner Sam Shields back in pads for the first time in two years

  1. He certainly can play, but a team could not take the risk of having him as a #1,2.or even 3 because after his last concussion he couldn’t come back for even 1 of 15 games.
    But the Rams seem well-covered with cornerbacks ahead of him.

  2. Elite man to man skills?? Did Sean McVay develop a drug problem since moving out there to the city of Angels?? Somebody needs to collect Mr. McVays urine sample quickly!!! Shields is a good solid CB but there is nothing elite about him. When I think Elite coverage skills I think Patrick Peterson, Jalen Ramsey, Xavier Rhodes etc etc.

    In all seriousness though Shield’s shouldnt even be playing. Once a guy suffers several concussions like he has (which I guarantee is a lot more than 4 over his High School, College and Pro career’s were probably easily talking 10+) he is much more susceptible to them going forward, with more and more damage to the brain w/ each concussion. First time he gets his bell rung in camp my money is on him suffering another concussion. The Rams shouldnt of even signed this Kat, they do not even need him and it’s for Shields own good teams keep him away from football and out of the NFL as a player.

  3. Loved Sam Shields in Green Bay.
    Very likable player with a great work ethic.

    The kid went from being a raw undrafted rookie with blazing speed to a very good starter in this league and an eventual Super Bowl Champion.
    I would never have called him a shutdown corner, but he was on the fast track to becoming one, until injuries sidetracked him.

    I was glad the Packers took the decision out his hands and released him when they did.
    It’s tough to know when to hang it up, and when to put your health before your pride.

    I’m rooting for him in his comeback.
    And whether he’s successful or not is immaterial, I would just like to see all this end with him coming out any further unscathed.

  4. Kid? He’s a 30 year old man with way too many head injuries. Time to try being a coach or scout.

  5. This signing I didn’t even know about, I guess it was overshadowed by Talib and Peters signing, but Shields is a great corner and most likely will be playing in the slot. Especially if his lateral agility is as good as Coach McVay says it is. Don’t know if the Rams offense will be the same as last year, but one thing for sure they do have a Defense that is going to stop people with the pass rush and the shut down corners all over the place.

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