By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com September 02 2014 2:26 AM ET
Michael Sam was cut from the Rams roster on Saturday, and on Monday news came that he won't make the team's practice squad either.
Every NFL team is allowed 53 players on its roster, plus 10 players for a practice squad. After announcing Sam had been cut, St. Louis Coach Jeff Fisher signaled to reporters the reality that the Rams have more pressing needs than a defensive end for its practice squad.
After Sam was cut, the deadline on Sunday for another NFL team to add Sam to its 53-man roster passed without any takers. A team could still pick up Sam, a free agent, for a practice squad. This year the NFL allows teams to sign 10 players to a practice squad instead of the eight allowed in previous years.
Fisher stuck by his policy of meeting personally with every player he lets go, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the two met on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Sam's chances of playing are smaller, with fewer options. The season kicks off on Thursday.
In a news conference announcing the team's final roster, Fisher reiterated his insistence that Sam — a former University of Missouri All-American and SEC defensive player of the year — is good enough to play in the NFL. "Mike's got the ability," Fisher said. "Mike played well. He has the ability to play some place. It's got to be the right place, it's got to be a fit."
And Fisher said once again that "There was no distraction."
"If someone perceived or thought that there may be a distraction, they weren't in the building," the coach told reporters. "I've been saying that all along, this was a football decision. Mike fit in very, very well. He was fun to be around. He was a good teammate. There was no issue there…. It just didn't work out."