Dom Capers doesn't like to use the term starter when addressing the components of his defense.
Whatever the overlying classification, however, it took all of one quarter of football for Sam Shields to reclaim a significant role on the Packers' defense.
In his first game in nearly two months, the third-year cornerback showed no rust in Sunday's 27-20 win over the Lions despite missing six games because of a high-ankle sprain.
After coming in on the defense's third series, Shields cashed in with three tackles, two pass deflections and a game-altering interception of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the second quarter.
On Monday, Capers said the Packers planned to get Shields involved in the defense at some point, but it turned out he saw 58 defensive snaps after relieving Davon House on the Lions’ third series.
While Capers wouldn’t go as far as to say Shields has earned his starting spot back - he started five games before his injury - his natural play-making ability is apparent.
“I really don’t look at starting spots,” Capers said. “I know this, I was happy to have Sam back and I thought he went in and made a significant contribution last night.
“It’s nice to have him back out there. So how we end up using those guys will be based off of personnel groupings. But I know that you can get short with those guys in a hurry.”