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Colts Are First NFL Team With No Bye Week Following Game In London

Intro: Coming back from London, the Colts (1-3) will host the Chicago Bears (1-3) on Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium. Why did the Colts choose to not have their bye week immediately following the game in London?


INDIANAPOLIS – It's a rarity teams in the NFL have specific control over a part of their regular season schedule.

The Colts did though in 2016.

Last November, it was announced the Colts were heading to London on Oct. 2, 2016 for a Week Four contest with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

When it was time for the schedule-makers to construct the 2016 schedule, the NFL reached out to the Colts.

They asked the Colts if they wanted their bye to be the week after London, like the 28 teams who have previously played overseas had done.

But the Colts didn't want their bye coming that early in the season. They preferred a more normal bye week, later in the season, thus breaking the schedule virtually in half.

When the 2016 NFL schedule was released in April, the Colts' wish was granted.

-In Week Five, the Colts would host the Bears in a game after playing in London.

-The bye week would not come until Week 10 (Nov. 13).

Now, with Week Five here, the Colts do not want to hear any talk about a "London hangover."

This was the schedule they wanted. And they got it.

"There's a point and time where you just have to forget about all the baloney and beat the guy across from you," GM Ryan Grigson said earlier this week. "If you let that come into your play or psyche, those are excuses."

"It doesn't matter if we have a long week or a short week. The expectations are still to go out there and win on Sunday and we've got to find a way to do it."

You can expect the league office to be watching Sunday's game in Indianapolis very closely.

If the NFL ever wants to have a team in London, or even have more games played overseas, teams playing the week after such contests have to become a frequent option.

In fact, Albert Breer from MMQB reported the Colts players and coaches will be surveyed by the NFL on coming back from London without a bye week.

Sunday's flight home for the Colts offered a longer than normal time to reflect on what had just transpired at Wembley Stadium.

The iPads were fired up and the film was analyzed…and analyzed.

"Everybody got to watch that thing over and over and over and over again, which is not a bad thing," Chuck Pagano said of Sunday's eight-hour flight back to Indy.

The Colts made it through customs at Indianapolis International Airport just before 2:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Going into this Sunday, the Colts will keep virtually the same practice/meetings schedule that they would have on a normal week.

No time to rest for the 1-3 Colts when a win is badly needed.

"I'm glad we're playing Sunday, to be honest with you," Pagano says. "I'd hate to be sitting around for two weeks waiting for another opportunity.

"Everybody is looking for answers obviously. You just look at the tape and it's really, really simple. It's all right there and it's all correctable and we've got the right guys to get this thing turned around and we will get it turned around."

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