Redskins fans have had a very stressful last few months when it comes to thinking about the left side of the team's offensive line.
At tackle, Trent Williams is still absent, and while there's a tiny bit of momentum building that he could return soon, nothing really promising has developed with that story in quite some time.
At guard, meanwhile, Ereck Flowers has secured the starting job for now. The former first-rounder from the Giants is switching positions and moving inside, an experiment that was the source of some intrigue early but now is the source of much angst.
There's no angst, however, coming from the man who's filling in for Williams and who also will be working next to Flowers beginning Sunday in Philadelphia.
"Flowers and Penn have played a lot of football," Donald Penn told JP Finlay on the Redskins Talk podcast when asked for his view on the O-line's left side. "We're going to find a way. That's what we do, that's what we were bred to do."
The two players do have quite a bit of experience between them. Penn has been in the league since 2007 and has appeared in 178 games, while Flowers has suited up 59 times since becoming a pro in 2015.
The key here, however, is that none of Flowers' 59 games have come at guard, which is the position he'll be occupying against a deep Eagles front.
Penn is already preparing to be challenged often.
"I know Philly is going to probably try to attack 'E' because it's a new position. We're going to be ready for that, I'm going to try and help him as much as possible," he said. "Philly is probably going to try and attack me, too, because I've been out of football for a while. So, we're ready for that."
The thought at training camp was that, while Flowers and Penn were a combo since Penn signed on July 31, eventually it'd be rookie Wes Martin and Penn to open against Philly. Yet Jay Gruden is giving Flowers the first chance, and Penn approves of the choice.
"If it was a rookie, it'd be a lot harder," he said. "But with 'E' having so much football, and me playing so much football, I think we'll be able to pick it up a lot quicker."
It won't be long until Penn's belief in Flowers is either backed up or proven to be misplaced. The Eagles are very familiar with Flowers from his days with the Giants and they absolutely will target him early to see how effective he is.
Unfortunately, Penn can't promise a certain level of effectiveness or that it'll be a smooth debut. He does guarantee one thing, though.
"We're not scared," he said. "One thing we're not, we're never scared. We're ready for anything."
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