February 08, 2017

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers have released cornerback Sam Shields, who was never cleared from the concussion protocol after getting hurt in the season opener.

A seven-year veteran, Shields joined the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Miami in 2010. He played in 80 regular-season games, having entered the 2016 season as Green Bay's top cornerback.

Shields said he was released on Instagram on Tuesday morning. The Packers announced the move later in the day.

His injury in the opener at Jacksonville left the Packers with a big hole in the secondary. It forced second-year players Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter to move up the depth chart and assume more responsibility.

Randall and Rollins also missed some time with various injuries at cornerback, compounding problems on a leaky pass defense.

Shields was three years into a four-year, $39 million deal signed in 2014.

In a series of phrases attached to hashtags on Instagram, Shields said, ''I was getting better'' and ''At least let me retire from the Pack.''

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