The seventh-round pick and the league's first openly gay player made the most of his opportunity.
Sam didn't waste time making an impact, quickly recording a pressure on Saints passer Luke McCown. That success was wiped away by a defensive holding call, but the former Missouri star rebounded to register a quarterback hit that elicited strong cheers from the Edward Jones Dome crowd, according to USA Today's Tom Pelissero.
Sam's sexuality hasn't been an issue as he pursues the dream of an NFL career. The more urgent challenge, today, is staking a claim on a loaded Rams defensive line that doesn't have enough spots for all the available talent.
In that sense, Sam's journey isn't unlike the thousands of rookies who arrived before him.