EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — London is calling for the Minnesota Vikings.
The NFL announced the Minnesota’s 2017 schedule on Thursday, and revealed the Vikings will play in London against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 29.
The Week 8 game is at 8:30 a.m. (CT), which is 2:30 p.m. in England. The Vikings will be the road team in the game played at Twickenham Stadium.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said the organization has been hard at work mapping out a potential travel plan.
“It’s my first time playing there,” Zimmer told Vikings.com. “We’ve done a lot of research about the best time to go, how to do things.
“We’re probably going to do it a little bit different and go maybe a day earlier than most of the teams have,” Zimmer added.
Zimmer said he was pleased with the logistics of where the game fell in the Vikings 2017 schedule. Minnesota will have its bye in Week 9 after returning from London.
“It’s right in the middle of the season,” Zimmer said of the matchup against the Browns. “We get the bye the week after in Week 9 … and we play the early game so we’ll be able to get back right after the game.”
Minnesota had its bye in Week 6 of the 2016 season and Week 5 of the 2015 season.
The Week 9 bye essentially splits the Vikings season in half, with eight games played before the break and eight games played after.
“I don’t think you want to have it real early,” Zimmer said. “Probably the middle of the year is the time when you need it the most.
“Obviously coming back from London, trying to get our legs back will be important,” Zimmer added.
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The Vikings last played in London during Week 4 of the 2013 season and earned a 34-27 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Minnesota was the home team in that game, which was played at Wembley Stadium.
When Minnesota played in England, the Vikings built a 17-point lead by the start of the fourth quarter and deterred a comeback attempt by the Steelers in the game’s final moments.
Pittsburgh drove all the way to the Minnesota 6-yard line and faced a third-and-6 with 19 seconds left when
Cleveland has never played a regular season game in London but did play a preseason game there in 1989.
Vikings 2017 Schedule
Week 1: Monday, Sept. 11 | New Orleans | ESPN | 6:10 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17 | at Pittsburgh | FOX | Noon
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24 | Tampa Bay | FOX | Noon
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1 | Detroit | FOX | Noon
Week 5: Monday, Oct. 9 | at Chicago | ESPN | 7:30 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15 | Green Bay | FOX | Noon*
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22 | Baltimore | CBS | Noon*
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29 | at Cleveland (in London) | NFLN | 8:30 a.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5 | BYE
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12 | at Washington | FOX | Noon*
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19 | Los Angeles Rams | FOX | Noon*
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 23 | at Detroit | FOX | 11:30 a.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3 | at Atlanta | FOX | Noon*
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10 | at Carolina | CBS | Noon*
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17 | Cincinnati | CBS | Noon*
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 23 | at Green Bay | NBC | 7:30 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31 | Chicago | FOX | Noon*
(All times are Central; *Time subject to change due to flexible scheduling)