Evening State Sports Briefs: Shields questionable for next week's gameWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers’ corner Sam Shields might not be able to play next Sunday at Minnesota. He appeared to suffer a concussion yesterday, after he intercepted a pass in the end zone in the final quarter of the Packers’ 24-3 home victory over the Saint Louis Rams.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ corner Sam Shields might not be able to play next Sunday at Minnesota. He appeared to suffer a concussion yesterday, after he intercepted a pass in the end zone in the final quarter of the Packers’ 24-3 home victory over the Saint Louis Rams.
He was about to run the ball out of the end zone when he took a hard shoulder hit from Rams’ receiver Brandon Gibson. Shields, a second-year pro, was on the ground for a few moments before he left on his own. If he has a concussion, Shields would have to go through the NFL’s protocol – in which an outside physician would determine when he’s ready to return. McCarthy said Shields probably didn’t make the best decision to try-and-run the ball out of the end zone, with the Packers up by three touchdowns in the final minutes. Meanwhile, Packers’ safety Morgan Burnett had nine tackles while wearing a club on a broken right hand suffered at practice last week. Linebacker Frank Zombo had four tackles in his first game since breaking a shoulder scapula in mid-August. And right tackle Bryan Bulaga said he played well in his return after a knee injury three weeks ago at Chicago.
Unlike two weeks ago, the Packers said nobody missed yesterday’s kickoff against the Saint Louis Rams due to the tightened security at the Lambeau Field entry gates. The Packers increased the number of officers who checked fans with airport-style metal detection wands. And Packers’ vice president Jason Wied said fans heeded the team’s request to enter the stadium earlier. As a result, people made it through the gates a lot faster than on October second – when the Packers followed the NFL’s orders to beef up security. The team admitted not having enough officers that day – and late arrivals caused hundreds of fans to miss the kickoff for the Packers’ victory over Denver.
Wisconsin’s Indy-Car racing fans are joining others in mourning the death of driver Dan Wheldon. The two-time Indy-500 winner was killed yesterday. That was after he got tangled up in a 15-car pileup, flew over another vehicle, and struck a catch-fence on the second turn at Las Vegas. The 33-year-old Wheldon was in the middle of the pack when the crash occurred on the season’s final Indy-Car event. In recent years, Wheldon’s best Wisconsin finish was third in the 2007 ABC Supply-A.J. Foyt race at the Milwaukee Mile track. The Milwaukee event used to be held the weekend after the Indianapolis-500, but it was scrapped two years ago. The Indy-Car circuit brought back a Milwaukee event in mid-June of this year. But Wheldon, the defending champ at Indy, did not show up. And poor attendance and a lack of promotion were blamed for canceling the event after just one year.
Steve Stricker of Madison remains fourth in the new World Golf Rankings released this morning. In fact, the Top-13 players remained the same from a week ago as the year’s golf activity winds down. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson missed the cut at the PGA Fall Series’ event at Sea Island Georgia this past weekend. But he remains 58th in the World Rankings. Jerry Kelly of Madison, who tied for 20th at the McGladrey Classic, jumped five places in the world to 114th. Luke Donald still leads the World Rankings, followed by Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy.
The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team kept its Number-One ranking this afternoon in the U.S. College Online poll, despite losing a 3-2 game to Minnesota yesterday. The Badgers and Gophers are both 5-1 overall – and Minnesota moved up one place to second in the new poll. Cornell is third.
On the men’s side, Wisconsin dropped out of the Top-20, after losing a pair of overtime games at Michigan Tech this past weekend. The Badgers did receive votes, but they’re 12 spots away from getting a numbered-ranking. Michigan Tech is just one place out of the Top-20. Michigan is first, followed by Boston College and Denver.
UW-River Falls is the highest-ranked Wisconsin school in the pre-season Division III women’s hockey poll from U.S. College Online. The Falcons went 24-2-4 a year ago. Norwich of Connecticut is the preseason Number-One. No other Wisconsin schools are in the Top-10. UW-Superior, Saint Norbert, and Stevens Point also received votes.