<
>

Packers get cornerback Sam Shields back after concussion

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers secondary should be a full strength for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Minnesota Vikings thanks to the return of cornerback Sam Shields.

He was cleared to practice Wednesday for the first time since he sustained a concussion in the first half of the Dec. 13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Shields missed the last two games. He went through all the drills during the portion of practice that was open to reporters.

Without Shields, the Packers have started a pair of rookie cornerbacks: first-round pick Damarious Randall and second-round pick Quinten Rollins. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers decided to go with Rollins in order to leave Casey Hayward in the slot.

All coach Mike McCarthy would say before practice on Wednesday was that Shields was “getting better” and “is going to do some work today at practice.”

The Packers were missing four starters and six players in all on Wednesday.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who was inactive for last Sunday’s loss at Arizona because of an ankle injury, was unable to return to practice. That’s perhaps the biggest injury concern at this point considering that his replacement, Don Barclay, allowed four of the nine sacks the Cardinals registered.

The rest of the starting offensive line – including right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who couldn’t finish the Arizona game because of an ankle injury – was able to practice.

Nose tackle B.J. Raji (concussion), defensive end Mike Daniels (hamstring), outside linebacker Mike Neal (reason unknown), backup linebacker Jayrone Elliott (quad) and No. 3 tight end Justin Perillo (hamstring) did not practice.