Coach Jeff Fisher said that's where the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL will have his best shot at making the team.
"Michael is a defensive end, OK? He plays defensive end with his hand down," Fisher said after a 26-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Friday night.
"There's a lot of talk with Mike being a 'tweener,' maybe a standup pass rusher. It's rare to find a defensive end playing special teams in the NFL."
Sam said his introduction to the NFL was "awesome," recalling thinking during the national anthem, "Wow, this is the big stage."
But not too big.
Sam, who was credited with one tackle and one quarterback hit, emerged with confidence.
"You know, I can play in this league," Sam said. "I can play in this league."
Sam was a seventh-round draft pick and he's attempting to launch his pro career a two-hour drive from where he starred on a 12-win Missouri team that played in the SEC title game last season.
Sam shed weight to 257 pounds coming into training camp so he'd be a viable special teams option on a team that already has a strong pass rush.
"We wanted to come out here and start fast," Ingram said. "The line was just physical up front, got a lot of movement off the ball and created a lot of seams and holes for us to run through."
"I know what I'm coming into," Cooks said. "I'm coming in with a great group of receivers. I've got to come in and find my spot."
"We'll be smart with his recovery. He certainly is smart enough, too," Payton said. "Look, it is an area that is affected every time that you throw, so it's important that it is 100 percent."
Bradford was held out as a precaution coming off knee surgery. Shaun Hill got the start and threw two touchdown passes in the first half.
Greg Zuerlein was barely wide left on a 59-yard field goal attempt on the final play after missing a 46-yard attempt with just under six minutes remaining.
Attendance was announced at 54,850, about 12,000 shy of capacity at the Edward Jones Dome.
Sam began playing on the next series and made two nice plays in the second quarter, pressuring Griffin into an incompletion and getting a tackle.
"He's unpolished like a lot of rookies," Long said of Sam. "But he pleasantly surprised you when he went out in a game situation and played pretty well."
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press