The Bills haven’t played a game in London since 2015, but some of their players have been there more recently with other teams.
Running back Latavius Murray played abroad twice last year, scoring a touchdown with two different teams. Offensive guard David Edwards played a game with the Rams in 2019. Practice squad linebacker AJ Klein came to London with the Saints.
Then-New Orleans head coach Sean Payton brought in sleep scientists that week and he taught some fascinating lessons lessons that Klein is passing on to the Bills this week.
“It’s important for guys to get into bed early this week. Get to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 at night,” said Klein. “Try to get about an hour, two hours extra of sleep per night and try and “bank” sleep. Hopefully, that cumulative effect over those few days, by the time it reaches gameday on Sunday, even though that time adjustment happens, now you’re fully rested and ready to go.”
“Laying around, being up in the air for so long can kind of have a different effect on you,” said Edwards. “Get your body moving, try and activate it, hydrating and eating well, more of an emphasis of that turnover once you get there.”
Sean McDermott this week is relying on the Bills’ sports science team led by Joe Collins, who is a London native. It’s something that that team has been working on ever since the schedule was announced in May.
“There are a number of people working behind the scenes,” said McDermott. “It’s a great opportunity.
“Just making sure that we’re staying on top of it and trusting what our sports science people are telling us,” said Josh Allen. “Trusting what our trainers are telling us. Being hydrated as much as possible and trying to get as much sleep as possible.”
“It’s stuff that might seem simple but you have to pay close attention to it this time of year and especially with this long trip, it’s more critical than with what people give it credit for,” said Klein.
“It’s going to get us a little backward, have us twisted a little bit,” said AJ Epenesa of the trip. “If you stay on it, be smart, and don’t try to enjoy ourselves too much, we’ll be fine.
The Bills left Buffalo Thursday night around 7:30 p.m. ET and will sleep through the approximately seven-hour flight. They’ll land in London at about 7:00 a.m. London’s local time and will practice at 1:30 p.m. that day.