ATLANTA - Veteran cornerback Sam Shields came from his home in Florida to watch his Green Bay Packers teammates play in the NFC championship game and afterward declared his intention to play football again.
But he also admitted he's still suffering concussion symptoms stemming from a hit he took in a Week 1 game at Jacksonville.
"It’s just like some days tough headaches, some days it’s mild," Shields said in foyer inside the Georgia Dome. "It varies. I never know. I’m so used to it now, it’s normal. But it’s getting better. I’ll be back."
Shields suffered what is believed to be his fifth concussion and after weeks of waiting for his symptoms to get better, the Packers put him on injured reserve. He has spent almost the entire season away from his teammates, spending most of his time back home in Florida.
If ever there was a day the Packers could have used him it was Sunday when Atlanta Falcons star receiver Julio Jones ripped the defense for nine catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Second-year pro LaDarius Gunter, an undrafted free agent, was assigned to Jones and was no match, even with help from safeties.
McGINN: Season ends with a dud
D'AMATO: No silver lining in Packers' loss
DOUGHERTY: Magic quickly disappears
RELATED: Defense again at fault in final loss
Shields would have been assigned to Jones and at least given the Packers someone who could compete with the Falcons star's talents.
The Packers are going to have to be completely confident that Shields has overcome his concussion symptoms and even then they may decide it's in his best interest not to let him play. If that were the case, they would have to release him and Shields would be free to play with another team.
Both sides are a long way from making that decision, but Shields made it clear he doesn't want to quit.
"I just love the game and I feel like I can get back out there and play," Shields said. "If not, not. Right now, it’s just day by day."
Shields said there is nothing anyone can do for him — no treatments or medicine — so he just waits.
"That’s all you can do," he said. "I wish there was (something that could be done). I’d been back out there if there was."