Sam Shields, a former Green Bay Packers cornerback, has stated that he regrets playing in the NFL due to the consequences concussions and head injuries had on his career and later life.
Shields spent seven seasons for the Packers before missing nearly 14 months with concussions in 2016 and 2017, returning to the field for one final season with the Los Angeles Rams before retiring in 2018.
However, in a candid interview with Dan Le Batard for the ‘South Beach Sessions’ podcast, Shields, 34, described his head as “all mushed together with the concussions.”
He claimed that he still has migraines, a lack of appetite, and sleep problems as a result of the concussions – plus the NFL’s competitive attitude.
” In the NFL, you’re responsible for everything,” Shields said
“Once you’re in the NFL, you’re responsible for everything.” So you have to take risks because you have to take care of your family,” Shields explained.
“When you finish playing football, everyone forgets about you.” Family and pals. I only have one friend. I had ten in football.”
“Right now, I have one where I know that’s my friend. I could truly say, ‘You’re my friend.’ I don’t even speak to the majority of my family members.
Everyone was done with me after football was over.”
Shields detailed some of the symptoms he had as a result of his concussions in a Players Tribune essay published in 2018.
“It was three o’clock in the morning on a January night in 2017,” he wrote. “I’m not sure which one.
I’d had several awful nights around that time, but this was the worst.
“I couldn’t fall asleep. It seemed like my brain was cramping, or that it was trying to break free from my skull.
“I was rolling around in my bed, jerking my body back and forth, trying to get away from the pounding in my head.”
I’m curled up in the fetal position, shivering and screaming the next thing I know.”
Shields questioned the organization’s assistance in recovering him from his head traumas
Shields stated that he was unable to play for the Packers for nearly two years owing to being in the concussion protocol.
And he questioned the organization’s assistance in recovering him from his head traumas.
“They didn’t make much of an attempt to see if this guy was okay.”
‘Is Sam going to play this week?’ they pondered. Is he not playing? Oh, he has to leave.”
The Packers did not react quickly to CNN’s request for comment.
Shields remembers seeking assistance from UCLA doctors after questioning why his brain was all “blurry.”
Only after taking time off and getting care did he begin to recover from his concussions and “defeat them.”
What is the significance of concussions in the NFL?
Concussions and their prevention have become a hot topic in recent years, owing to their link to brain disorders later in life.
A study published in the medical journal JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) in 2017 discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains donated to scientific research.