SEPTEMBER 5: Massie will serve a two-game suspension, meaning his appeal reduced the penalty by one game, per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter link).
AUGUST 11: Cardinals right tackle Bobby Massie is facing a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). According to Schefter, Massie is appealing the suspension, which has yet to be announced the league, in the hopes of reducing it.
As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com explains (via Twitter), Massie was arrested for being intoxicated – and asleep – at the wheel during the week of the Super Bowl in Arizona. He’s seeking to have the ban cut from three games to two games.
While the Cardinals had plenty of injury woes at quarterback and on defense last season, Massie and fellow offensive tackle Jared Veldheer stayed healthy all year — both tackles played all 1,089 offensive snaps for Arizona, so it would be a noteworthy loss for the Cards if they started the season without Massie.
Assuming Massie’s suspension is upheld, it will open the door for rookie tackle D.J. Humphries to earn a starting role for at least the first few weeks of the regular season. Humphries, the Cardinals’ first-round pick in April, was expected to begin his NFL career as a reserve, so if the team determines he’s not ready for the right tackle job immediately, Bradley Sowell could step in while Massie serves his suspension.
Whether or not Humphries is prepared to immediately replace Massie on the Cardinals’ line, the first-rounder looks the long-term solution in Arizona. Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) that Massie, who is entering the final year of his contract, “saw the writing on the wall” when the Cards drafted Humphries, and doesn’t expect to be with the team beyond 2015.