The double grand-slam victor was omitted from last weekend's 32-20 defeat by England, although his replacement Robbie Henshaw struggled positionally at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.
Rob Kearney comes in for his 88th cap at full-back in place of Robbie Henshaw, with Chris Farrell replacing Garry Ringrose at outside centre and South African-born lock Quinn Roux, flanker Sean O'Brien and No 8 Jack Conan all stepping into the pack.
"I'd like to see how they'd describe our Plan A to be honest", said head coach Schmidt, responding to accusations Ireland's gameplan is limited.
The Belvedere man says he understands worldwide rugby is very different from the club game but thinks Schmidt's Ireland side need more variations in the opposing 22'. And we try to vary our defensive game.
Garry Ringrose's hamstring injury opens the door for Henshaw to go back into the centres, with coach Joe Schmidt understood to be ready to restore Kearney to the No.15 jersey. It's a knock on top of a knock.
"But if you get another bump on it, it debilitates you quickly".
Kearney last played for Ireland during the November series Test against All Blacks and missed the opening game of the series against England in Dublin with a thigh injury.
'You've got Chris Farrell sitting in the wings, massively motivated to do his best, ' said Schmidt.
Connacht lock Quinn Roux should start in Edinburgh, with the dependable Devin Toner ruled out with an ankle injury. It's a great opportunity to get him in. "He stepped in once a year ago and got man of the match and he's a guy who's getting back to form after the long lay-off he had".