Michael Sam made a statement on Thursday in the St. Louis Rams loss to the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.
Sam who was a 7th round pick in this year's draft is vying to make the final roster with that decision looming by this weekend. The defensive end is considered a bubble player and could end up missing the cut. His performance in this game can only help though.
Sam ended up with six tackles in Miami with five coming of the solo variety. That number was good for tied for the most in the game by any player on the field. It was also the most by any player on the Rams. Entering this contest, Sam had five tackles total in the first three games.
In addition to the tackles, Sam has three sacks this preseason. These numbers aren't earth shattering by any stretch of the imagination but they could be enough for Rams' management.
Sam is the first openly gay player in NFL history and has been in the headlines recently due to ESPN running a story on that subject. The network has since apologized for the report in which they put the focus on the locker room instead of the field.
Making the roster should help Sam get recognition for his on-field play and keep him in the headlines for that instead of for his personal life.
Sam has done some work on special teams as well this preseason but Rams' coach Jeff Fisher has said that it's the work on defense that will ultimately decide Sam's fate.
"We're giving him every opportunity to do so, and he's participated in special-teams practices and everything, but that's not going to be part of the criteria for the evaluations," Fisher told ESPN.
Final rosters are due in the NFL on Saturday by 4:00 p.m. ET.