TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play in the NFL's first regular season game in Germany on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Along with preparing for a tough opponent, the team is getting ready for a long flight and time change.
The flight to Munich is approximately 10.5 hours. The time in the German city is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Sunday's game kicks off at 3:30 local time, which is 9:30 A.M. eastern. The players have to adjust their internal clocks to be at their best against Seattle.
"Definitely hydrate [and] get some good sleep on the plane and then, hopefully, get acclimated as much as possible," Bucs offensive lineman Donovan Smith said.
Tampa Bay's sports science staff gave the players blue light-deflecting glasses to help them get rest ahead of Sunday's game. These glasses protect the eyes from the blue light that emits from smartphones, computers, television and tablet screens. That light reduces the melatonin in the body, making it more difficult to sleep.
"We want the guys to feel as tired as they can. So, if they wear [the glasses] two hours before they typically go to bed, it's going to help drive the melatonin levels so they're going to feel sleepy," Bucs Director of Performance Science Dave Hamilton said.
The team departs for Germany on Thursday after practice. Tampa Bay aims for the franchise's first international win. The Buccaneers are 0-3 in international games.