Editor's note: Insider Scott Bair is in London with the Raiders; stay logged on to CSNCalifornia.com all week for comprehensive coverage of the Silver and Black
LONDON – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr calls his wife each morning to say good night. That’s how backwards time difference can be between the East Bay and England, something the Raiders have adjusted to well during the past week.
Jet lag can be a nuisance, and it can linger if sleep isn’t handled appropriately. There’s an eight-hour difference between the Raiders and their routine, which means they’ve practiced while fans are fast asleep.
Team doctors offered advice on how to combat jet lag, and the Raiders have generally listened well.
“They told us to sleep on the plane, don’t sleep the day you get here,” Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck said. “Don’t take naps. Because the first day you get here you should be tired, but fight through it. Get a lot of hydration. That’s pretty much it.”
Darren McFadden strictly followed that advice and considered himself adjusted a day after the Raiders arrived on Monday. It took others longer to get right, but there’s little cause to think jet lag should have any impact on Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium.
The Raiders came over after a loss to the New England Patriots, a common practice for West Coast teams playing in the NFL’s International Series. That certainly helped the Raiders adjust. There were some rocky periods early on, but the extended time has allowed the Raiders to acclimate.
“I think it was beneficial for us coming over early,” Tuck said. “We had a lot of doctors and advisors telling us the way to adjust and beat jet lag. It did set in yesterday, but my body is definitely feeling better today and I see that being a plus going in to Sunday.”
Most players are fine now, but the adjustment generally required a rough Monday and a lot of sleep on Tuesday.
“The first day I got here, I tried to fight sleep as long as I could,” Carr said. “I think I slept for like 11 hours that first day because I was trying to get caught up to this time zone. Obviously, still feeling it a little bit today. As the days have gone, it has gotten progressively better. The faster I can get into the right time zone, which is here, the better it will feel. I’m glad we came out as early as we did because it definitely makes a difference.”
So does the kickoff time. The Raiders play at 6 p.m. in London, which translates to a 10 a.m. kickoff in the Bay Area. No matter which time zone they’re in, that should allow the Raiders to be ready to play an pivotal game against the Dolphins in a strange land.
“To be honest with you I've been waking up at 3 a.m. everyday, wide awake,” receiver James Jones said. “I don't know if I’m acclimated yet to the time change but I feel good. I feel rested. I'm ready to go.”