The Vikings typically fly to road destinations the day before games, but coach Mike Zimmer has changed up their long-standing routine this week.
The Vikings will fly out to the Bay area after Friday’s practice. That will give the players almost two full days to try to get used to West Coast time in advance of Sunday’s game against the Raiders, which kicks off at 1:05 PST.
“I think it’s going to be good for us,” running back Adrian Peterson said today. “We get a day to get acclimated, get the body and the mind rested and get [used to the] time change. It will be good for us. … For sure I’ll be able to get a little more rest because on Fridays my son is keeping me up during the night. That will be a plus for a couple of guys on the team.”
Peterson added that he thought flying out west a day early is “something that should have been done with this team for years.” He believes that it is a real concern for the players, tuning their biological clocks on those trips.
“Go back to the first game, it just felt like we were playing at 10 o’clock at night,” Peterson said of the 20-3 loss to the 49ers in the season opener. “Our bodies just weren’t adjusting to that. I didn’t really feel it that much. I felt it a little bit, though. … I could tell that a lot of guys were out of sync.”
Peterson wasn’t the only veteran who is pleased to see a change was made.
“We got our tails whooped out there the first time,” defensive end Brian Robison said. “So why not try something different?”
Zimmer said that the loss to the 49ers had nothing to do with the decision to fly out early, saying it was made before the season opener.
“A lot of East Coast teams do it when they’re going out to the West Coast,” Zimmer said. “I would have done it when we played San Francisco but it was a Monday night game and I didn’t want it to seem like we were going to be out there six days.”