GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In his fourth year in Bruce Arians' offense, tackle Bradley Sowell can see the experience paying off.
Especially when he practices with the first team.
Even though the NFL has yet to announce a three-game suspension of Arizona Cardinals right tackle Bobby Massie, Sowell has been practicing as the first-team right tackle since Monday, a move he expected as soon as he saw reports about Massie's upcoming ban.
According to multiple sources, Massie was suspended by the NFL for three games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He was arrested on Jan. 31 and charged with DUI and DUI BAC over .08.
"I absolutely expected the move, 100 percent," Sowell said. "I'm the older guy. I've been pretty trustworthy this camp with mental errors and little things and doing the little things right and improving every day.
"I expected the job and I expect to be there the first game."
Coach Bruce Arians said promoting Sowell while placing Massie with the third team was "just a precautionary thing."
"We just need to have depth at the right tackle," Arians said. "He was the second-best right tackle."
Regardless of the reason, Sowell, who played under Arians with the Colts in 2012, has benefited from the extra snaps. He said assistant offensive line coach Larry Zierlein has been focusing on one or two things a day with him.
Sowell, who started 12 games in 2013, has outplayed rookie tackle D.J. Humphries for the time being. But the 26 year old knows he needs to stay even keeled -- both mentally and physically -- to stay ahead of Humphries, Arizona's first-round pick this year.
Arians has been pleased thus far with Sowell's performance with the starters.
"He looked fine," Arians said. "He's started here. He's a veteran."
Sowell sees an opportunity to prove himself again as a starter during the first three weeks of the season but he refused to look at the possibility of unseating Massie beyond Week 3.
"That would be nice but obviously I got to just take it a day at a time," Sowell said. "I got a long way before I can start talking about that."