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Packers place Sam Shields on injured reserve

The Packers' top cover man will miss at least the next eight weeks.

NFL: NFC Divisional-Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have played the last four games without the services of No. 1 cornerback Sam Shields, who suffered a concussion in Week 1. On Tuesday, the team announced that it has placed him on injured reserve, putting him on the shelf for at least eight weeks.

Shields has spent the past five weeks in the NFL's concussion protocol, and while the Packers have said the corner has made progress, he has yet to improve to the point where he could return to the field. Shields has suffered three concussions over the last three seasons, which might have contributed to his extended stay in the protocol. The team can activate Shields off of injured reserve after eight weeks, making Week 15 his earliest possible return date.

Placing Shields on injured reserve opens up a roster spot for running back Knile Davis, who the Packers acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier Tuesday. Davis could see extensive playing time Thursday against the Chicago Bears as Eddie Lacy appears unlikely to suit up with an ankle injury.

With Shields out for the foreseeable future, the Packers must turn to Damarious Randall, and Quinten Rollins -- both of whom missed last Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys -- to serve as their top cover men. LaDarius Gunter should also continue to see the field, though he struggled in his most recent outing after playing well earlier in the season.

Jason B. Hirschhorn is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and covers the NFL for Sports on Earth and SB Nation. He also serves as the senior writer and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog.