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Former NFL cornerback Sam Shields played in the league for nearly a decade, became a Pro Bowler and even earned a Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers in 2010. However, when asked if he would do the whole thing over again, Shields said he wouldn't.

"I'd be going to school, trying to work for home improvement," Shields said in a recent interview with Dan Le Batard on the "South Beach Sessions" podcast. "I'd be trying to learn how to build a house."

Shields said he felt "blessed" to have had the opportunity to be in the NFL, but he added he "went through it" and felt that there was not enough support for him. He described his head as being "all mushed together with the concussions."

During his time in the NFL, Shields suffered at least five documented concussions. Between 2016 and 2017, he missed almost 14 months because of concussion symptoms. He was released by the Packers in 2017. 

Shields gave the NFL one more try, signing with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018 and making another trip to the Super Bowl. In February 2019, Shields said in an interview for the Rams that he was "feeling like myself again" and desired to "keep going some more." 

But it seems like he doesn't mean that anymore. The Le Batard interview was not the first time Shields opened up about his struggles with concussions. In October 2018, Shields wrote about his experience in the Players' Tribune.

"The Tylenol wasn't doing shit," he wrote. "It was three o'clock in the morning on some night in January 2017. I forget which one. I'd had a lot of bad nights around that time, but this one was the worst. I couldn't sleep. It felt like my brain was cramping, or like it was trying to break out of my skull or something. I was rolling around in my bed, whipping my body back and forth, trying to escape the pounding inside my head.

"Next thing I know, I'm curled up in the fetal position, shaking and crying."

Shields said that before that night, he spent the previous couple of months living in darkness and silence in his house in Sarasota, Fla. The curtains needed to be closed because he couldn't handle the sunlight. TV, his phone and music were also out of the question. 

Shields was honest with Le Batard and said the hardest thing about leaving football for good was feeling like he'd be forgotten.

"When you're done with football, everybody forgets about you. Family, friends. I got one friend. In football, I had 10," Shields said. Now I got one where I know that that's my friend. That I could really say, 'You're my friend.' I don't even talk to most of my family members. Once football was over, everybody was over with me."

Earlier this season, the NFL changed its concussion protocol after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a scary head injury against the Cincinnati Bengals.