The Green Bay Packers will face one of the NFL's rising stars at the quarterback position on Sunday when they take on the Oakland Raiders. However, they will have to do so without their top cornerback.
In his morning press conference on Friday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that Sam Shields is out for the week 15 matchup in Oakland and will not travel with the team this weekend on their flight to California. Shields suffered a concussion during last week's win over the Dallas Cowboys and apparently has not made enough progress through the NFL's concussion protocol for the Packers' medical staff to feel he could play on Sunday.
Shields, who is in the second season of a four-year, $39 million contract, is arguably having the best season of his six-year NFL career. In 12 games (all starts), Shields has recorded 39 total tackles, three interceptions (one short of his career-high, set in 2011 and 2013), and 13 pass breakups.
This season, Shields has sometimes been used to "shadow" the opposition's top wide receiver, following that player around the field rather than staying static at his typical right cornerback position.
Shields' absence means that the Packers will rely more heavily on their two rookie cornerbacks, first-round pick Damarious Randall and second-rounder Quinten Rollins. Those two players are likely to play the majority of the snaps on the boundary, with fourth-year pro Casey Hayward contributing primarily in the slot.
McCarthy also briefly mentioned the injury that caused wide receiver Davante Adams to dropout of Thursday's practice, noting that it was to his heel. He did not appear to know the extent of the injury, however, saying that the team is still "collecting information" on it.
Stay tuned this afternoon, when we will bring you the team's full injury report.