But whether one day of practice will be enough for Sowell to prepare for the league’s top-ranked defense is yet to be seen. Goodwin will evaluate Sowell during Friday’s practice and then make a decision about the player's status for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.
“After practice tomorrow I’ll have a better feel,” Goodwin said. “I don’t want to say so right now, but obviously missing two days of practice, [with] whatever illness he has, hopefully it hasn’t affected him too much and hopefully he’s been studying and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Goodwin guessed that Sowell was out with the flu, since the virus has been making its rounds this time of year.
If Sowell doesn’t start Sunday, Nate Potter would fill his slot. Potter started six games at left tackle last season, allowing seven sacks. His first significant action in 2012 came against the Green Bay Packers and linebacker Clay Matthews. This season, his first start could come against Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
But Potter has learned to fill in on the fly.
“It’s just part of the process,” he said. “It’s part of the league, part of the position, part of my role. I just got to accept and play the best I can.”
Potter spent most of the first half of 2013 learning how to play guard. That versatility helped him stay active on game days and made him an attractive option to coach Bruce Arians.
“He’s a guy who comes to work every day,” Goodwin said. “Doesn’t say much. Does what we ask him to do. I have confidence in him. If he has to play. I’m sure he’ll be OK.”