TAMPA — Not only do the Bucs have to prepare for a Patriots team coming off its best game of the season, they have to do so with one less practice session.
Tampa Bay travels to London on Friday morning for Sunday's game. New England flies overnight after today's practice.
"So we'll just have to go out and see which (travel system) works better," coach Raheem Morris said.
Morris said he sought travel recommendations from the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs and British Premier League soccer team Manchester United, and other members of the organization. He decided the team would be better rested and acclimate to the five-hour time difference more quickly after a Friday flight.
The Bucs are scheduled to leave at 8 a.m. and arrive around 6 p.m. Eastern time, 11 p.m. in London, and "you get off and go to sleep," Morris said. That means their Saturday walk-through becomes their Friday practice, though Morris said it won't be "the full-speed tempo you'd usually get.'' They'll try to make up for it in the meeting room.
"Less walk-through and more classroom," he said.
Coach Bill Belichick said the Patriots are "treating it like a Saturday game," getting all their preparations in regular Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday practices. They'll have a short practice Friday in London and try "to get in the same routine in a different location," QB Tom Brady said.
"Friday is going to be like a Friday, Saturday is going to be like a Saturday, game day is going to be like game day," Brady said.
WR Michael Clayton said the Bucs are treating the trip as business, and with a midnight curfew, they won't have much time to see the sights.
"From my experiences, the earlier you fly over, the worse it is for you to adjust," Clayton said.
"We're playing a game a day after we arrive, and I think that physically it's the right way to go."
STEPPING IN: With FB B.J. Askew out for the season with head and neck injuries suffered in a car accident, Earnest Graham said he's ready to step in.
"It's nothing new," Graham said. "I've played the position. I've played the position well."
Wednesday, Tampa police released the report on Askew's accident, which involved three cars at about 8:15 a.m. Oct. 12 at W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and N Habana Avenue. Askew, in a 2003 Mercedes, was stopped at a red light while going west on MLK Boulevard when a 2006 Ford driven by Christopher Graham, 37, of Riverview hit him from behind. The report said Graham was driving about 30 mph and failed to notice Askew's and another car stopped at the light. The collision pushed Askew's car into a 2004 Chevrolet driven by Cecil Lloyd, 79, of Tampa. Graham was cited for careless driving.
NEW GUY: G Shawn Murphy was claimed off waivers from the Dolphins; his father is former Braves OF Dale Murphy.
INJURY REPORT: RB Clifton Smith (concussion) was at practice but didn't participate. His game status depends on how he does the next few days, Morris said. DT Chris Hovan (ankle) did not participate. Clayton (hamstring), LB Barrett Ruud (elbow) and DT Ryan Sims (hand) were limited. Morris said he expects all to make the trip.
More Patriots: Pro Bowl LB Adalius Thomas faced the possibility of being benched for the second straight game even though he's healthy.
Does he expect to play against the Bucs?
"Ask Bill (Belichick)," Thomas said.
Why was he benched in the first place?
"Ask Bill," Thomas said. "He has all the answers."
Bill wasn't saying.
Thomas started the first five games but had just 12 tackles. His lone sack came in the opener.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.