Jack Driscoll Becoming Eagles' Latest Swiss Amy Knife

The second-year OL has proven his value as both a takle and guard and someone who can step into the lineup in case of emergency
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Can Jordan Mailata take the next step on a gimpy knee and go from a limited practice player on Wednesday to the starting lineup against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday?

Will Lane Johnson return to practice from the personal matter that sidelined him last week against the Chiefs in time to play against the league’s third-ranked defense this weekend?

What about Jack Driscoll, the swiss army knife who lined put at right guard last week after not taking a snap there in the days leading up to the game?

Will the Eagles be forced to use their third different starting lineup in just the fifth game of the season?

There are all offensive line questions, obviously.

Similar ones were asked last year when the Eagles used 14 different starting lineups in 16 games due to one injury after another.

MORE: Lane Johnson's Status Remains Murky - Sports Illustrated

Head coach Nick Sirianni doesn’t want to give away too much for competitive advantage purposes for Sunday’s game in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers.

Whatever shape the line takes, it’s helpful to have someone like Driscoll who can be thrown in at the last minute and play whatever position is needed and play it well.

And it was definitely last minute when OL coach Jeff Stoutland tapped him on the shoulder just two hours before kickoff last week when it was learned Johnson wasn’t playing and told him what was up.

"There’s not much fluff with Stout,” said Driscoll on Wednesday. “It’s really, ‘You’re starting at right tackle. Go out there and play well,’ and I’m like, ‘Alright.’

“It’s part of my job to be able to play wherever they tell me, whether it’s on short notice, or it’s all week that I’m repping at right tackle, or two hours before the game. He kind of said, ‘It’s a tough situation. I understand it’s difficult, but we need you to play right tackle.’”

Right tackle was where Driscoll made four starts as a rookie last year after being drafted in the fourth round out of Auburn, but training camp this past summer was filled with guard reps.

“I feel comfortable at guard because up until two hours before the game, I thought I was starting at guard,” he said. “It’s like I got all my reps at practice next to Kelce at guard. At guard, things just happen quicker. It’s right there. It’s on you right away, but I always think I can take some things from tackle to guard to help me, and vice versa when I go to tackle.

“I always feel that being able to play both kind of gives you a better understanding of the whole O-line, the blocking schemes. It helps you hone in on your technique to be able to play anywhere.”

Jack Driscoll during Eagles training camp, 2021

Jack Driscoll

It helped that right next to him on the line was Herbig at right guard The two played next to each other quite a bit a season ago, with the constant changing of the line's complexion.

"It was someone I was comfortable playing with, and I just try to take it one play at a time," said Driscoll, who had just come off Injured Reserve earlier in the week.

His conditioning, however, held up.

"…Everyone is tired out there at points, but just pushing through and having guys on the line that support you and feed off their energy is really helpful," he said.

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It's not like he didn't have experience with short-notice decisions, either.

Last year, he started the season opener in Washington when Johnson was ruled out on game day with an ankle injury, one that bothered him all season.

"Sometimes it’s just better to be thrown in the fire," Driscoll said. "You don’t have time to be nervous. You don’t have time to overthink it. You just have to go out there. Coach Stout says focus on your fundamentals, and I think that’s really helped me the first time and this time. 

"Just focusing on my technique, no matter who is across from me. Control what I can control and play my hardest, and do what I can to help the team win."

This week, Driscoll is preparing to play both guard and tackle.

 "I’m sure Coach Stout later in the week will let me know for sure which one," he said. "Same thing, I’ll be ready for either one and go out there and do what I can."

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.