Bernhard Raimann was "over the moon" when the NFL announced this year's Colts-Patriots game would be played in Frankfurt, Germany. The Vienna, Austria native knew several family members, including his grandmother, would be able to take a short flight or hop on a train or in a car to drive over to Frankfurt to watch him play football for the first time.
"For (my grandmother) to be able to come to a game, it's just an unbelievable chance for everybody for my family," Raimann said. "I'm just beyond excited about it."
Raimann's grandmother and family, on Sunday, will not just get to see him play – they'll see their relative playing at a high level.
Entering Week 10, Raimann ranks 8th in Pro Football Focus' overall grade (80.3) and 12th in pass block grade (78.9) among starting tackles. He's one of 12 tackles to be flagged fewer than two times, and PFF has tagged him to just two sacks, tied for 17th in the NFL.
While Raimann did some encouraging things as a rookie in 2022 (73.3 PFF grade), he allowed seven sacks and was flagged for nine penalties. In Year 2, the 2022 third-round pick has made significant progress in both those categories while maintaining a solid level of play on a down-to-down basis.
"He processes stuff really, really quickly and then when you pair with that the way he prepares and the way that he works, it doesn't happen by accident that he's improving," offensive line coach Tony Sparano Jr. said last month. "It's down to how he's worked and I'm proud of him for that."
Raimann, like the rest of the Colts, is primarily focused on earning a win against the Patriots on Sunday in Frankfurt. But for Raimann, the opportunity for family time and some hard-to-find-in-Indiana comfort food – like schnitzel and goulash – will add a little extra to the Colts' trip.
Even if Raimann firmly is on the Austrian side of a regional debate of which country has better food.
"People argue about which one's better," Raimann said. "I'm just glad to be in the ballpark of Austrian food. It's gonna be good."
Also, like most kids growing up in Europe, if you would've told Raimann he'd play professionally in a Bundesliga stadium – Frankfurt Stadium is home to Eintracht Frankfurt, a club in German soccer's top division – he would've figured he'd be playing football as Europeans know it.
"Back then I was playing soccer and the Bundesliga was the biggest league around," Raimann said. "That was the biggest stage you could ever perform in front of. I don't think I would've ever believed you if you told me that back then. It's going to be an awesome experience."
Wednesday's practice report
The Colts, as they did last week, conducted a walk-through on Wednesday.
Wide receiver Josh Downs (knee), cornerback JuJu Brents (quad), linebacker Zaire Franklin (knee) and tight end Drew Ogletree (foot) all did not practice. Right tackle Braden Smith (hip/wrist), who hasn't played since Week 6, was listed as a full participant.
The full practice report is below: