INDIANAPOLIS -- Anthony Castonzo doesn't know whether he's ever had a gay football teammate and he doesn't care. Nor would he care if Michael Sam were the first.
"All that matters is can he do the job on the field," said Castonzo, the Indianapolis Colts' veteran left tackle. "As teammates, that's all we really care about. When we go out on the field on Sunday, is he going to be able to do his job. If he can, he'd be a good teammate."
Colts linebacker Pat Angerer echoed Castonzo.
"I could care less," Angerer said. "If he's a good guy, plays football tough, I could care less. I don't think it's a problem at all. It's none of my business."
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson was mired in personnel meetings all day but broke away briefly to say, "(Sam's announcement) doesn't impact our evaluation. We will go about our process as usual."
Sam announced Sunday through ESPN and the New York Times that he is gay. The University of Missouri's All-American defensive end hopes to be the first openly gay player to be drafted by and play for an NFL team.
"I am an openly proud gay man," Sam told ESPN. "I understand how big this is. It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL."
Sam said there were no repercussions when he told his Missouri teammates in August. The NFL indicated he should expect none from its teams either.
"We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage," the league said in a statement. "Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014."
Punter Pat McAfee said he would do the same if the Colts were to draft Sam.
"I wouldn't mind at all to play with a talented football player with enough courage to do what he did," McAfee said. "Hopefully he'll inspire others to be proud of who they are, especially kids who might be going through the same situation."
Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman, too, was impressed with Sam.
"Courage …," Freeman wrote on his Twitter account.
As Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Sam (6-2, 260 pounds) earned the top defensive honor in college football's strongest league. He led the SEC with 11½ sacks and 19 tackles for loss.
Sam has been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine which begins Feb. 19 in Indianapolis but whether his announcement will be a boon or a detriment to his prospects in the May 8-10 draft is an open question.
Some teams might fear the possibility of him becoming a distraction, and the NFL's reassurances notwithstanding, the question has come up before.
Colorado tight end Nick Kasa told CNN a team made questionable inquiries of him during the 2013 Combine: "Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?"
Former Colts offensive lineman Joe Staysniak, who co-hosts a sports talk show on WFNI-1070 AM, doesn't expect the transition to be completely smooth.
Speaking of the NFL in general and not specifically the Colts on his program Monday, he said there's a "neanderthal structure that's within the locker room that's needed to do a barbaric sport like football.
"Don't expect it to change overnight. ... There's just a certain way a locker room is. It would totally upset the ... It's hard to put into words ... it would upset what goes on in the normal day-to-day operations of a locker room. The joking around and all that kind of stuff."
Staysniak noted that some in the locker room would be wary of speaking out against having a homosexual teammate.
"The problem is, today, if you come out and speak against it, then there's something wrong with you, and that is totally incorrect," Staysniak said. "Respect the people that don't condone this as much as you're respecting a guy for trying to do something that hasn't been done before."
An NFL scout who spoke anonymously told Sports Illustrated that a team with a strong head coach and locker room environment might be Sam's best destination.
Angerer believes the Colts have those qualities.
"For sure," he said. "The great thing about this sport is you play with people from all different backgrounds, all different lifestyles, people who grew up with (money), people who didn't grow up with anything, people from single-parent homes, people who didn't even have parents, people from everywhere.
"You learn to love and respect. Someone's sexual preference, I don't think that's a problem as long as they're an accountable teammate and they work hard. That's the only thing people look at and care about."
Email Star reporter Phil Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @philrichards6.