Fitting an entire football team into an airplane for five hours is no easy task, especially when it is also crowded with staff and media members joining the traveling party.
But, the Ravens seem to be dealing with it fine after successfully completing their longest road trip of the season.
Baltimore went 2,200 miles from coast to coast to defeat the San Diego Chargers 31-26. But, even though the team arrived back in Baltimore at 2:30 a.m. on Monday, there was no time to push the snooze button.
The Ravens went back to practice and meetings at team headquarters in Owings Mills, Md., on Monday before preparation begins for the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday.
There may be no rest for the weary, but the Ravens quickly put the intense San Diego victory, coupled with the intense southern California heat, behind them.
"You kind of throw the emotions of that game away after a day or two, and you take the lessons with you, hopefully for the rest of the season," said head coach **John Harbaugh**. "That's in a win and a loss – the good things and the bad things. The things that we can learn, the mistakes we made, we've got to carry those with us."
Physically, the trip did take a toll on the Ravens. Regarding the action on the field, cornerback **Fabian Washington** suffered a concussion.
Harbaugh said the team's medical staff will be careful with Washington, but the fifth-year veteran could play this week.
"He'll have a chance to play this week," Harbaugh noted on Monday. "That stuff all comes down to those tests that they do. I haven't heard what the tests are yet."
Regarding the weather, several Ravens were hobbled with cramps late in the game because of the scorching 100-plus-degree temperatures inside Qualcomm Stadium.
"They started cramping toward the end," noted Harbaugh. "Our training staff did a good job of getting people hydrated back up and obviously, it went right down to the wire."
Luckily, the Ravens make their travel accommodations as comfortable as possible for the players. On the charter plane, there is at least one seat between everyone to give guys like left tackle **Jared Gaither**, who is 6-foot-9, 330 pounds, to stretch out.
Food is abundant. Hot wings and hamburgers greet the players as soon as they step on the plane, and then a full steak or chicken dinner is provided. Warm cookies and milk, ice cream and soft pretzels are just some of the snacks that are served, as well.
And even though some light work was accomplished on Monday, the players are given Tuesday off to rest and recover.
"It's really no challenge," said running back **Willis McGahee**, who gashed the Chargers for a team-leading 15 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns. "You've just got to get your rest. You know, we did come back late, but we still had to come in and work on a couple of things, and that actually helped us,because you can get treatment while you're here. So, there is no worrying about waking up late and [saying], 'Oh, I've got to go here, I've got to do that.'
"You're already here. You can get treatment, then you can just go home and get your rest."
Several players were actually roaming the halls of the training facility Tuesday, however.
Some of that was for treatment, like in safety **Tom Zbikowski’s** case. Zbikowski had a weight-lifting session before he took a test to monitor the status of the concussion he sustained in the regular-season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Others simply wanted to get a head start on the Cleveland Browns.
"It's never too early, right?" asked quarterback Joe Flacco!(/team/roster/joe-flacco/3e20766f-6520-4ca1-9901-44389aaea8b8/ "Joe Flacco") with a smile, apparently unfazed by any jet lag.
Note:Other players spotted in the locker room and cafeteria included safety Ed Reed, offensive tackle Michael Oher, receivers Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, cornerback Frank Walker, tight end Edgar Jones, receiver Eron Riley, defensive tackle Kelly Talavou and quarterback John Beck.