BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In prep for the London showdown, the Ravens arrived in England for their first ever game overseas.
The team arrived on Friday is getting ready for the big game with their first practice across the Atlantic. Many fans also made the trip to support them, as well.
Mark Viviano was with the team for the first practice and has more.
The Ravens will not do any sightseeing on this trip. Overseas travel can be overwhelming for an athlete with the time zone changes and fatigue.
The Ravens arrived to begin the process of what can be a tough transition. With the afternoon sun over a Ravens practice in suburban London, the player’s body clocks are on Baltimore time, still early for these guys.
After a seven-hour flight with little or no sleep, the Ravens don’t hit the snooze alarm — they answer the bell with a sharp practice.
“I honestly thought we’d be zombies walking around here. Like I said, I feel like personally, since I have been on my feet, I have been pretty good,” says Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco.
The game against Jacksonville Sunday is the Ravens’ first time playing outside the United States. It means added attention from the media and fans. Thousands have flown from Baltimore to cheer the Ravens in London.
“We came into the airport and there were Ravens fans everywhere. We had Ravens fans from the states, we had Ravens fans from Great Britain, I think. I heard a couple accents,” says Coach John Harbaugh.
Lineman Jermaine Eluemunor is familiar with those accents. He grew up in London where he first saw American football and went on to play in the United States. He now returns six years later, an English native in the annual London showcase.
“I feel like it’s my job to inspire others to go after their goals and dreams. If I could achieve this and I am here right now, about to play Wimbledon Stadium,” says Eluemenor.
Coach Harbaugh has said that through all the hype and trappings around this trip, the priority is for the Ravens to win a game this Sunday.
Defensive tackle Brandon Williams did not make the trip. He is dealing with a foot injury which could be a factor in how the Ravens play on Sunday.