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Redskins Fight Through Fatigue During First London Practice


Arriving early Friday morning into London, the Redskins had little time for rest before engaging in team meetings and participating in a full practice in the afternoon.

Redskins players trudged off the team bus in their practice gear, groggy-eyed and weary. They had arrived in London early Friday morning, checked into their hotel and proceeded with a normal football schedule as though they were still in Loudoun Co., Va.

Check out these photos of the Redskins' defense and special teams preparing for their Week 8 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.

"We practiced, we met, we had meetings, we got on the bus, we got on the plane, got off the plane – literally had meetings again and now we're back at practice. It's a long day," left tackle Trent Williams said, describing the last 24 hours with a facial expression that described his current state better than any of his words.

If it wasn't clear already, the team's trip across the pond is indeed a business trip, evident in the expedience in which the team journeyed to west London and into the tucked away rugby pitch in the Acton neighborhood.

There, surrounded by unassuming rows of small houses, the team was greeted by media members and a small gathering of NFL Play 60 kids, donned in burgundy T-shirts and eager to receive autographs from players once practice was dismissed.

Like a typical weekday practice, the team began with walkthroughs, stretched, broke up into individual drills and then finished with team drills, lasting nearly two hours in total, a bit longer practice than usual if only to reinforce the point of the long flight there.

"It was pretty long, but I feel like we needed it," wide receiver Jamison Crowder said. "We've been on the plane for a long time, haven't really moved, haven't had much movement, so I feel like the practice, it was much needed. Just kind of get our bodies going a little bit."

That seemed to be the case for most players who stepped onto the field still rubbing their eyes and who eventually found some adrenaline to run on once their legs started moving.

"We try to make it feel as normal as possible," defensive end Chris Baker said. "It's kind of like a regular day, an extended day because we had practice then got on the plane and we came back to another practice so you never really got any sleep. We're making it work."

"I'm tired right now. I just want to get some rest somehow, but other than that, I'm excited to be out here for first time in London," Crowder said. "It's cool, I'm tired."

Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 8 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.

Running back Rob Kelley sat out practice with a knee injury that will keep him out of Sunday's game, while cornerback Josh Norman and tight end Jordan Reed continued to practice freely under concussion protocol. Norman said he doesn't know why he wouldn't be cleared to play against the Bengals based on the way he felt Friday, using his own fatigue as another indication of his health.

"You've got to fight through some stuff," Norman said. "You've got to fight through and overcome those obstacles you face. Other team's got to deal with that too. Not only us, you've got to understand that, and know that we're the only ones dealing with elements of being fatigued and tired. That's an excuse. We're not looking for those."

Similar to training camp, players spoke with the media walking off the field, saying hello to their young fans and then quickly boarding their bus back to the hotel, where a meal and bed would be waiting to comfort a strenuous day.

"It's hard on both teams," Baker said. "But we've just got to suck it up and go out there and do what we get paid to do."

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