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Vikings Shift Focus to Sunday's Game in London

MINNEAPOLIS — Make no mistake about it, this isn't a vacation for the Vikings.

It's a business trip through and through.

Minnesota will face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at London's Twickenham Stadium. The game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in London (8:30 a.m. CT)..

After Sunday's 24-16 win over the Ravens, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer explained how his team was going to handle the unusual week of preparation.

The Vikings will have a light day Monday before the players have Tuesday off.

Minnesota will then practice Wednesday and take an overnight flight that will land them in London on Thursday morning.

Zimmer said he's switching it up a bit from most teams who have chosen to arrive in London on Friday, which Cleveland will do later this week.

"I've never been to London, so I don't know," Zimmer said on what he expects in Europe. "We're going to try something a little bit different than most of the other teams.

"I'll either look smart, or I'll look dumb," Zimmer said with a grin.

The Vikings last played in London in 2013, a year before Zimmer's arrival in Minnesota, when they scored a 34-27 victory over Pittsburgh at Wembley Stadium.

A handful of Vikings players who played in the game recalled the trip to

"It was a great experience," said Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes. "The people in London didn't know much about football but were willing to learn, and now they know a little bit more because a bunch of teams have been going over and playing.

"I feel like they've grasped it a little bit, they understand football more, and it's going to be more exciting and more fun for the fans and they understand what's going on," Rhodes added.

Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said he will stress the importance of treating it like a normal week.

"Guys have to understand that this is a business trip," Robison said. "It's not about going over there and having a great time – it's about going over there and winning a football game.

"So for us, it's making sure that everybody does everything they can to make sure they recover from the plane ride, that they get there and get loosened up, stretched out," Robison said. "You're going to be sitting on a plane for eight hours or so, so it's about really getting there and making sure you do everything you possibly can in order to win on Sunday."

Some players will be making the trip for the first time.

"I think it's going to be a great experience," said Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs. "I just feel like going over there and getting ready to be a football game will be all new to me – it's not like being home or in a comfort zone, so I'm kind of excited.

"My teammates gave me a little bit of advice – it's going to be a long plane ride, so hydrate and stuff like that," added Diggs, who is rehabbing a groin injury that sidelined him for a second straight week.

Zimmer addressed the trip to London immediately after Sunday's game in his locker room speech to the Vikings.

Zimmer, as always, made his point perfectly clear.

"We're going to get ready to go over across the pond, as they say," Zimmer said. "We're not there for tea and crumpets … we're there to win."

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