If you didn’t know just how effective NT Sebastian Joseph Day has been for this LA Rams defense, then you haven’t been paying attention. He is one of the late-round stars that the team loves to talk about. He developed within the system, was coached up by the staff into an NFL starter, and suddenly he is among the best in the league at his position.
He has played in just seven games this season but had already set a career-high three quarterback sacks, and was on pace to dwarf his previous high-water mark of tackles at 55. He has 38 tackles to date.
He injured his Pectoral muscle against the Detroit Lions and sat out Week 8 against the Houston Texans. Per the team website, he re-aggravated that injury, and will now require surgery to repair the damaged muscle. There is no timetable for his return at this time, but depending upon the severity, could mean his season is over.
The LA Rams selected the 6-foot-4 310-pound defensive lineman with the 195th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was stashed away on the practice squad for his rookie season. But throughout that year, he was mentored by Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, and Ndamukong Suh.
When Suh signed on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense the following year, Bash stepped up and became the Rams starter. Thankfully, he performed as though he was a returning starter, and the LA Rams defensive line was ranked among the NFL’s best.
He has been a steady and dependable, if not glamorous, starter for the Rams over the past two seasons. While that may have seemed like enough, it wasn’t for the young nose tackle who is now in the last year of his rookie contract. Knowing that he needed to up his pass rush techniques, he trained in the offseason to get after the quarterback.
From what we have seen so far, he has exceeded expectations. Unfortunately, due to an untimely injury, that could be it for the young man this year.
Follow the money
The money matters become a sticking point to any hopes to have the young man return in 2022. The LA Rams have 11 unrestricted free agents, four restricted free agents, and six exclusive restricted free agents next year.
Even with an estimated $7.9 million available for free agents next year, the Rams project losing two starting offensive linemen, two starting defensive backs, and two edge rushers. Will there be enough money and interest to re-sign the nose tackle?
For now, the team, player, and fans want Sebastian Joseph Day back and healthy. We’ll have more information on his status after his surgery. But whether or not he takes the field in 2021, everything beyond this season is shrouded in financial fog.
In the meantime, the Rams defensive line is now down to just 5 healthy players. Look for the Rams to fill the vacancy short term from the practice squad with either Marquise Copeland or rookie Earnest Brown IV.