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Ravens Feel Passing on Bye After London Flight Isn't a Big Deal


The Ravens' flight back from London landed at BWI airport at around 1 a.m. ET Monday morning. 

And with that, Baltimore kicked off a normal week of preparation for the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Both the Ravens and Jaguars decided to eschew a bye after playing in London, which has only happened one other time since the International Series began 10 years ago. The Ravens don't think it's a big deal.

"It's our job as professional athletes to get ourselves ready to play," wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. "I don't think it's really any different than playing on a Thursday."

Actually, playing on Thursday Night Football after a Sunday game is an even more difficult turnaround. That requires teams to generally eliminate the full day off for players after the game. Ravens players still have Monday off this week before returning Tuesday as normal.

The Indianapolis Colts became the league's first team to skip the post-London bye since teams started going across the pond in 2007, and it worked out. Indy returned home following a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and beat the Chicago Bears.

In June, Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti was asked by a PSL season-ticket holder why the team decided against taking the Week 4 bye. He said the team felt it was better to save the bye for the middle of the year when rest may be more needed. The Ravens ended up getting it in Week 10.

Bisciotti said the Ravens asked the league for a home game instead of the bye, so they wouldn't have to go back on the road again. It wasn't guaranteed but was granted.

The Ravens didn't know, however, that they would end up getting the rival Pittsburgh Steelers upon their return.

"If I had my druthers, I would have rather it been maybe some other team," Bisciotti said.

"But the good news about playing Pittsburgh is we know them well. We know their personnel. We play them all the time. Even though it's going to be one of our toughest games, we certainly won't have to get back on a plane. We'll be playing a team, though a very good team, we are very familiar with."

Not only is playing the Steelers good from a schematic standpoint, but it may also be a shot of energy for the team considering the stakes, especially coming off a 44-7 loss to the Jags.

The Ravens are quickly moving on with a big-time game on the horizon.

"It's the Steelers. It's going to be a division game. Everything's on the line," safety Eric Weddle said.

"So, this game is already behind us. We're going to look at the mistakes, correct the mistakes and already start game planning for Pittsburgh. Because the more we lament, the more we worry about this game, and the more we're 'woe is me,' we'll get our butts kicked next week."

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