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Colts players share excitement ahead of Germany game

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 05: Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates with Gardner Minshew #10 of the Indianapolis Colts after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 05, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Last Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts did something they haven’t done in almost a month.

They won a football game.

This Sunday, the Horseshoe will do something they have never done before when they play a game in Germany.

On Sunday at 9:30 a.m. EST, the Colts will kick off against the New England Patriots at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany.

Linebacker Zaire Franklin and other Colts players are excited for the team’s first trip to Germany.

“This is my first time overseas. I’m international now,” Franklin said.

The Colts have played a regular-season international game only once before, falling to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London in 2016.

The team has played three preseason games outside of the United States, with a 2000 game in Mexico City, a 2005 game in Tokyo, and a 2010 game in Toronto.

Head Coach Shane Steichen experienced an international game in London in 2018 as the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Steichen is modeling the Colts’ approach to how the Chargers operated in 2018, flying out after practice on Thursday, and arriving early Friday morning.

“It’s going to be great for the players to experience that,” Steichen told News 8 Sports Director Anthony Calhoun. “The NFL is a big production in the United States, but to go overseas and gain that experience, to go play in a different stadium in front of fans on the other side of the world, is awesome.”

Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew played a football game in London, back in 2019 during Minshew’s rookie season with Jacksonville.

“In my experience, [playing in Europe has] been pretty awesome, Minshew said. “The fans are super fired up for it. Excited to get out there and be a part of that, share the game we love around the world. When you take a step back, all the places that football has taken you and the things you’ve been able to see through it. It’s cool to be able to add [Germany] to the list.”

Running back Jonathan Taylor likened this weekend’s experience to two special games he played in college at the University of Wisconsin.

“It’s going to be pretty cool,” Taylor said. “In college, we got to play in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Being able to have those moments, those memories and experiences, like going to the Rose Bowl, there are certain key experiences, and this is a big one.”

This game means even more for Colts left tackle Bernhard Raimann.

Raimann is from Austria, a bordering country of Germany, and has 18 family members headed to Frankfurt on Sunday.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Raimann said. “When they first announced it, I was over the moon excited about the game. A couple of family members, like my Grandma, might have never traveled over to the US, so for [them] to be able to come to a game is just an unbelievable chance for everybody, for my family and I are beyond excited about it.”

Due to the abnormal game time, WISH-TV’s Emmy Award-winning pregame show, ‘Countdown to Kickoff’ will air on Saturday at 11 a.m. CTK is Indy’s only hour-long pregame television show, hosted by Calhoun and the Sports 8 team.

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