PHILADELPHIA – Jack Driscoll got the call around noon on Sunday.
On the other end of the line was Jeff Stoutland, the Eagles’ highly-regarded offensive line coach, who had a simple command.
“Be ready to go,” the lovably gruff mentor barked.
As a backup with experience, Driscoll is always a snap away so being ready at a moment’s notice is kind of in the job description but the urgency was greater this time because All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson woke up with some pain in his groin.
The goal was to quickly get Johnson some treatment before the game and a precautionary MRI. The latter revealed some inflammation and when Johnson still felt sore during pre-game warmups, the Eagles took a conservative approach due to the pain and the wet field on what turned into a very rainy day.
Driscoll was set to start at RT.
Typically, anyone starting for Johnson is an issue. The Eagles entered the game against Buffalo with a 10-22 record without Johnson in the lineup since 2016.
After a 37-34 overtime win that moved Philadelphia to 10-1 on the season, makes that mark at least a little better.
The last time Driscoll was called upon was Oct. 15 against the New York Jets when Johnson went down with an ankle injury after nine snaps and the Auburn product via UMass did not hold up well against a talented Jets front.
“I know I went out there and didn’t play my best football,” Driscoll admitted when discussing the Jets game. “You guys know that. I know that. It was frustrating. But my thing was to get better every day, and no matter when my number is called, if my number is called, I’m going to be ready to go.
“I didn’t play up to my standard … It was an opportunity to show what I can do.”
This time Driscoll delivered after a mulligan that allowed gifted Bills edge rusher Leonard Floyd a free pass on the Eagles’ first offensive play. It ended up as the only pressure Driscoll allowed all night in 39 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
“Filling Lane’s shoes is not an easy job,” said Driscoll. “My thing was to play hard, get better every play and battle. As a backup, you never know when your number is going to get called.”
Johnson was there to help as well per Driscoll “to kind of pick his brain, see what he’s seeing, what’s the set line, the hands; it meant a lot he was out there.”
There is a chance Johnson will be back for next week’s game against San Francisco but of not the Eagles will be confident in the next man up.
“He learned the last time with the Jets,” said left tackle Jordan Mailata. “People doubted after that game, but we never did. We never lost faith in him. We know the product he is, we know the value that he holds.”
After the game coach Nick Sirianni was happy with the eye test.
“I haven’t seen the tape, but I have a feeling he played an outstanding game just because of the way the game was going, the rush, all those different things,” Sirianni said