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Bobby Massie will start for Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers

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Bruce Arians cites too many hits on Carson Palmer, but there is supposedly going to be a short leash.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Most people probably didn't catch it, but Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians made an announcement regarding the offensive line. On the team's weekly TV show "Flight Plan," (as noted on AZCardinals.com) he announced Bobby Massie would start at right tackle, replacing Earl Watford, who started there two games while Massie was suspended.

It appears to have come down to protecting starting quarterback Carson Palmer. Arians had spoken previously about both Massie and Watford, stating Massie was a little better in pass protection and Watford was better in the run game. While Arians praised Watford and his play, he did note, "we had a few too many hits on the quarterback."

As Arians said a couple of times during the week leading up to the game, Massie "is on a short leash."

That also contradicts something else he said a couple of weeks ago. While on the radio, Arians said recently, "Once we decide, it's over, and it's just a matter of moving on."

It appears things might have changed.

While suspended, he did not practice with the team and he had not practiced with the first team for the last couple of weeks of training camp. While he did start all 16 games last season, there will be questions as to whether he will be rusty or if the continuity of the offensive line play would be affected. Thus far, Carson Palmer has not been sacked.

The team has made a concerted effort to be better at running the ball, but it is well known the Cardinals' success is tied to keeping Palmer healthy.

Is Massie the right choice?