Sam Shields: There was “a lot of darkness” while out with concussions

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Rams cornerback Sam Shields made one of the biggest plays in the NFC Championship Game when he caught a pass from punter Johnny Hekker in the second quarter for the team’s first first down of the game.

The team would go on to kick a field goal that cut the Saints’ lead to 13-3 and got the ball rolling on a comeback that would ultimately bring them to the Super Bowl. Some players might call that their best moment on a football field, but Shields said from Atlanta on Monday night that he’d still rank a one-handed catch he made in high school as his top memory.

Wherever they rank, the fact that Shields is making highlight reels again is remarkable on its own. He suffered a concussion in Week One of the 2016 season and missed the rest of the year along with the entire 2017 season before returning to the league with the Rams this year. Shields said he was “very close” to throwing in the towel before finding the right treatment plan.

“There was a lot of darkness, things I couldn’t control,” Shields said. “I got with the right doctors at UCLA. They worked with me on the right way to think, right way to get my mind together.”

Shields is one of the few Rams with Super Bowl experience and he won a ring during his time with the Packers. Winning a second would make for a pretty bright light at the end of his long tunnel back to the playing field.