Summer 2024

DT Sebastian Joseph-Day surprised to be with 49ers at Super Bowl, aims to 'represent Him'

LAS VEGAS — This marks the third Super Bowl trip in Sebastian Joseph-Day’s six-year NFL career. The path to get here, however, is not one he could have predicted.

“It’s been an interesting one for sure,” the 49ers defensive tackle told Sports Spectrum this week ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.

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His whole career up to this point could be classified as “interesting.” He was a sixth-round draft pick out of Rutgers in 2018, joining an up-and-coming L.A. Rams team with a stout defensive line featuring Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers and Ndamukong Suh. Joseph-Day was “just a young pup … blessed enough to be able to just sit there” for a year and “absorb everything those great players” would teach him. Joseph-Day was just on the practice squad in 2018 but along for the ride as the Rams advanced to but lost Super Bowl LII against New England.

Joseph-Day became a starter the next season and the two that followed, helping lead the still-stout Rams defense to a championship over Cincinnati in Super Bowl LVI. He left the Rams after the season but stayed in L.A. by signing as a free agent with the Chargers, and he started the next 31 games on the Chargers defensive line.

But as the 2023 season played out below expectations for L.A., the Chargers began to clean house. Coaches were fired, the general manager was let go, and Joseph-Day — a team captain — was shockingly among the players cut before the season even ended. Suddenly without a team and nursing a wrist injury, he thought he might as well get surgery and call it a season.

But numerous teams called him, the 49ers among them, and he jumped at the chance to join a Super Bowl contender. He added depth to the Niners’ defensive front for the final two regular-season contests and their two playoff wins to get to Super Bowl LVIII.

“What’s beautiful about it is God doesn’t put you in places where He doesn’t want you to be,” Joseph-Day told Sports Spectrum. “And I think this year has probably been the most interesting one.”

He said he’s relied on his strong faith in Christ through the roller-coaster season, and subsequently grown in his faith. He felt God tell him not to worry because his Father was looking out for him.

“I said, ‘God, I don’t want to play out of ego for myself or out of selfish ambition. God, if You want me to continue to play this year and [wait on] surgery, just show me the way.’ Obviously a lot of teams were calling and obviously this team (the 49ers) called, and it worked out. I think that just shows how God is always with you through the hard times. All you have to do is just remember that He puts you through everything for a reason, and to have that faith in those trials and tribulations,” Joseph-Day said.

He’s only been in for 15 snaps so far this postseason, backing up defensive tackles Arik Armstead, Javon Hargrave and Javon Kinlaw. Should any of those guys go down, though, they know Joseph-Day has the experience to step right in, even in big situations.

“God is good. I’m just so honored and so thankful to be part of this and to be able to represent Him because that’s what it’s all about,” Joseph-Day said.

When Sports Spectrum asked him who Jesus is to Sebastian Joseph-Day, the 28-year-old responded, “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He is everything. He’s the air I breathe, the ground I walk on, He’s everything. Without Him, we’re nothing. All honor goes to Him. All honor goes to the Most High.”

Joseph-Day and the 49ers take the field Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs as Super Bowl LVIII kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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