Young corners respond without Shields

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall (23) celebrates a play in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Green Bay Packers planned to have Sam Shields cover all-pro receiver Dez Bryant, but that strategy quickly went out the window when the veteran cornerback left with a concussion midway through the second quarter.

Instead, that responsibility fell into the lap of first-round pick Damarious Randall with second-round pick Quinten Rollins taking over the other outside post. The two rookies helped contain the Cowboys’ passing game to only 99 total yards.

Meanwhile, Bryant finished with only one catch for nine yards and was shut out on three targets against Randall, according to Pro Football Focus. Rollins missed a tackle on a Darren McFadden run at the start of the third quarter, but allowed only two catches for 19 yards on four targets.

“I have confidence in both of those guys,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “They’ve played a lot of football for us now. I think they’re both confident guys. They’ve improved as the season has gone on. I thought when Sam went out and our plan was to match Sam on Bryant. So Damarious did a nice job. If you would’ve told me here last week that Bryant would have one catch for nine yards, I would’ve taken it.”

Shields will start the week in the concussion protocol, but coach Mike McCarthy indicated that the sixth-year cornerback is doing OK after he appeared to bang his head on the Cowboys’ sideline while tackling receiver Lucky Whitehead.

Leaving early

With Sunday’s game on the West Coast, McCarthy said the team will travel to Oakland on Friday. The Packers also left a day early for their Week 4 game against the San Francisco.

“You have different challenges and obstacles that we need to do a better job of in our preparation, and it's going to be a grind come Sunday,” McCarthy said.

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