It's time for the Washington Redskins to get some much-needed rest and relaxation.
After grinding the days away since the dog days of training camp – which opened in late July – the Redskins have battled through four preseason and nine regular-season games without getting much time to rest in between.
This week, however, they'll get a chance to heal their bumps and bruises, and get a chance to come back fresh to start the next week as they prepare for the final seven-game stretch of the regular season.
"People don't understand how much our bodies go through as players," tight end Niles Paul said. "My body's sore and this bye couldn't be coming at a more perfect time.
"I need a couple days off to relax and get my body right."
On Tuesday, players reported to Redskins Park for a conditioning session before going their separate ways for the rest of the week to get their minds away from football for a while.
Some will stay home, while others will board planes going across the country to go to their hometowns for a few days to visit family and get away, resting their minds along with their bodies and appreciating the finer things in life.
For running back Roy Helu Jr., he'll be celebrating his wife's birthday while spending time with family in Omaha, Nebraska.
"We're going to travel out to Omaha where she's from and we're going to stay with her side of the family," Helu Jr. said. "So we're going to celebrate her birthday and we have some surprises over there."
Likewise, quarterback Robert Griffin III will take advantage of the days off to spend time with his family, as well, before getting right back to football and the remaining seven games on the schedule.
"I will focus on spending time with my wife, get some time away from the game," he said. "Get back ready to go, get on a roll when we get back."
At 3-6, the season hasn't quite gone according to plan for first-year head coach Jay Gruden. If it were up to him, they'd get right back to work after losing a close game to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
"I wish we didn't have a bye this week," Gruden said. "I wish we could play tomorrow – to be honest with you – the way we played that game and left one out there. It is what it is."
Once the mid-season vacation is over, however, Gruden will be ready to get his relaxed and refreshed group back on the field preparing for what he hopes will be a memorable run to finish the season.
"Whether it's for the playoffs, whether it's for the Super Bowl, whatever, we're playing for the Washington Redskins and the city here and we're going to go out and compete and we're going to go out fighting, that's for sure," he said.
While he's eager to get his team back on the practice field and working towards getting better, his message to the team was to kick back and enjoy some time away from football this week.
"Enjoy their time," Gruden said. "I think sometimes getting away for four or five days will be good for them, get their families and really think what's important from a football standpoint."