When tackle Bobby Massie was drafted in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals, fans were elated, especially since most wanted the team to draft him in the third round. With Jeremy Bridges and D'Anthony Batiste at tackle, the belief was that Massie would end up starting at some point in 2012.
However, fans are also very aware of how Ken Whisenhunt prefers to bring rookies along slowly. He believes in the consistent message of competition and earning your spot on the team, and that you will play if you give the team the best chance to win now.
As such, since Whiz came to Arizona, there have been two rookies to start in Week 1. That would be Levi Brown in 2007 and Patrick Peterson in 2011. Massie looks to be the next one. But what do all three situations have in common?
That would be an injury, one that ended the season of a player ahead of these rookies on the depth chart.
Brown was forced in to action at right tackle when Oliver Ross tore his triceps and was lost for the season. (You wouldn't happen to have noticed the parallels between 2007 and now, would you have?)
Last season, Patrick Peterson ended up starting after Greg Toler tore his ACL in the preseason. You might argue that he would have won the job, but the truth of the matter is that he started because Toler went down and was lost for the season.
This year, Brown goes down with a torn triceps. The result shifts D'Anthony Batiste to the left side and Massie to the right side.
Massie likely only cracks the starting lineup at some point during the season and only if he works his tail off in practices.
Now he will probably be a Week 1 starter.
And why is that? Injuries.
It is about the only thing that will cause Whisenhunt to get a rookie in the starting lineup.
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