Posted by laiyongcai92 at 9/29/2018 2:33:09 AM
Sam Shields thought hard about quitting football during his darkest Patrick Roy Jersey , saddest days at home in South Florida over the past two years.
As a former undrafted free agent who became a Pro Bowl cornerback and a Super Bowl champion with Green Bay, Shields knows all about overcoming tremendous odds. Four recorded concussions and the ensuing months of agonizing headaches were a daunting obstacle to be surmounted – and moreover, he wasn’t even sure if he should.
With the support of his friends and family, Shields eventually decided he couldn’t just stop. He had to play again, and he’s taking a shot with the Los Angeles Rams.
”I have a tough mind,” Shields said after stepping off the practice field at UC Irvine in full pads. ”I’m not going to lie. I guess that’s just a gift that I have, and that’s an important thing on your body. I’ve been through a lot. I took time off, and now I’m here and I’m doing a hell of a job.”
Shields wore pads Sunday for the first time since Sept. 11, 2016, when he suffered the final concussion that kept him out of football for nearly two full seasons. He is already drawing attention during the first few days of camp with the defending NFC West champion Rams, who added him to a well-stocked defensive secondary last March while allowing him to recapture his career.
Shields is 30 years old now, but his body is completely healthy, and he says his mind is clear. In fact, his biggest physical obstacles these days are the braces on the back of his teeth, slightly altering his speech.
He realizes the odds he’s facing Jake Allen Jersey , and he isn’t naive about the potentially catastrophic damage from another major head injury. Shields still wants to be part of a team again after seven seasons with the Packers, who cut him in February 2017.
”I had a year and a half to think about it, to be with my family,” Shields said. ”So I definitely had enough time to think about it, and I think I made the right choice.”
Shields’ teammates and coaches with the Rams are already impressed by the former University of Miami receiver who transitioned to defense as a senior and then carved out an NFL career on the strength of his speed and will.
The Rams also know how perilous Shields’ health could be.
”He’s doing a great job,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. ”I think people forget what a productive player Sam has been in this league. Elite man-to-man skills, unbelievable lateral agility and just short-space quickness. He’s a great guy. … Really happy for him. We’re hoping he’s able to stay healthy.”
Shields had become an elite defensive back during his career in Green Bay. He had 18 interceptions with the Packers across 80 games, including 62 starts.
He made two tackles while the Packers won the Super Bowl in February 2011 to cap his rookie season. Several months after earning a $39 million contract from the Packers in 2014, he was chosen for the Pro Bowl.
But he missed four games in 2015 due to concussions, and he suffered that fourth concussion in the 2016 season opener against Jacksonville. He hasn’t played football since.
Shields was beset by headaches in the months after his most recent concussion, enduring blinding pain and light sensitivity. He traveled around the country for help, eventually spending six months getting treatment at UCLA.
When the headaches dissipated, his desire to play came flooding back.
”I felt better just out of nowhere,” he said. ”It was crazy, and I started Brandon Saad Jersey , just like, `Let’s go work out.’ And I worked out. Felt fine that morning. I kept going out there, and that’s when I knew I was finally all right.”
Shields said his biggest current challenge is getting his body back in football shape, and getting rid of ”soreness in different spots that I haven’t moved in a while.” The Rams haven’t done any major hitting yet, but their first preseason game is Aug. 9 at Baltimore.
Ever since he joined the Rams, Shields has repeatedly said he isn’t fooling himself about what could happen. He wants another shot anyway.
”It’s a blessing,” Shields said. ”Two, almost 2 1/2 years out, I mean, it’s hard mentally for anybody to be able to come back, put these pads on. But I’m just happy to be here with my brothers. That’s the most important part.”
When Brewers pitchers went over the strengths and weaknesses of Cincinnati’s hitters to prepare for their series, they included reliever Michael Lorenzen in the mix.
They need to do more studying.
Lorenzen hit the second grand slam by a Reds pitcher in a week – and his third homer in his last three at-bats – as Cincinnati pulled away to a 12-3 victory Saturday, ending a seven-game losing streak against Milwaukee.
Lorenzen’s pinch-hit grand slam off Jacob Barnes in the seventh inning completed an eight-run rally, Cincinnati’s biggest of the season. Lorenzen’s fifth career homer drew a curtain call from the crowd of 24,640.
”It was a surreal feeling Joel Eriksson Ek Jersey , for sure,” Lorenzen said. ”I love this game and everything about it.”
It was the reliever’s second homer in the series. He also had a solo shot Friday during Milwaukee’s 8-2 win.
”The guy’s swinging the bat really well, that’s for sure,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”We treat him as a position player. We covered him in scouting meetings. We’re going to have to make some adjustments.”
One week earlier, Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani hit a grand slam off Cubs left-hander Brian Duensing at Great American Ball Park.
Lorenzen avoided the temptation to swing at a slider, and then hit a fastball deep to left field.
”The Reds have always put together some good-hitting pitchers, going back to Travis Wood and those guys,” Brewers catcher Erik Kratz said. ”You have to know who those guys are and where they want the ball and not throw it there.”
Tyler Mahle struck out a career-high 12 batters in 5 2/3 innings, three shy of the Reds’ rookie record. David Hernandez (3-0) pitched the top of the seventh.
The Reds fanned 18 batters, a club record for a nine-inning game.
The Brewers’ depleted bullpen couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the seventh. Cincinnati’s first eight batters reached safely against three relievers, with left-hander Mike Zagurski (0-1) taking the loss in his first major league appearance since 2013.
The NL Central leaders also were missing two starting position players. Christian Yelich left Thursday’s game with back tightness, and Ryan Braun came out of Friday’s game with the same issue. Counsell said Braun could be available on Sunday.
Eric Thames homered off Mahle, his 14th home run in 22 career games against Cincinnati. Thames hit 10 last year, the most by a Brewers player against the Reds in one season.
The last pinch-hit grand slam by a Reds player came from Chris Heisey on April 13, 2014 Authentic Stephen Johns Jersey , against Tampa Bay. Lorenzen’s three homers this season are the most by a Reds pitcher since Micah Owings had three in 2009. The last major league pitcher to homer in three straight at-bats was Colorado’s Mike Hampton in 2001.
In the last eight days, Reds pitchers have produced four homers – three by Lorenzen, one by DeSclafani. For the season, Lorenzen is 4 for 6 with three homers and six RBIs.
Mahle’s 12 strikeouts were the most by a Reds pitcher since Amir Garrett also fanned 12 Orioles on April 19, 2017. The club record for strikeouts by a rookie is 15 by Gary Nolan on June 7, 1967, against the Giants.
With the game out of hand, Kratz moved to the mound for the eighth inning – his third career pitching appearance – and gave up a pair of runs.
”I’d rather catch nine innings and do high-fives,” he said.
The Reds sent minor league catcher Joe Hudson to the Angels for cash. The 27-year-old Hudson has never played in the majors. He batted .235 with no homers and three RBIs in 16 games for Triple-A Louisville this season.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies had a setback in what was expected to be his final minor league rehab assignment as he recovers from a sore shoulder. He lasted only three innings and gave up 10 runs and three hits for Class A Wisconsin on Friday night, leaving after just 48 pitches because of a sore back.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey will make his fourth rehab start Tuesday for Triple-A Louisville. He’s been sidelined since June 2 because of a sore right knee. Bailey is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA.
Brewers: Freddy Peralta (3-0) makes his fifth start. The Brewers are 4-0 in his starts. Opponents are batting .093 against the right-hander.
Reds: Matt Harvey (3-5) makes his 10th start for the Reds, who got him from the Mets in a trade for catcher Devin Mesoraco on May 8. Harvey has allowed six runs in his last three starts spanning 17 2/3 innings.
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