Stefon Diggs missed practice early in the week, but returned for the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday. His name was absent on the final injury report released Friday, presumably meaning the receiver was good to take the field against the New York Giants on Sunday.
Then again, he might not even if he did get over that early-week case of a cold.
“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Zimmer told reporters Friday when asked if Diggs would play.
Is Zimmer holding Diggs out as punishment?
Diggs missed practices Monday and Wednesday after the Vikings’ loss to the Chicago Bears. He insisted he had a cold but the team listed him as missing for a “non-football injury,” rather than illness, fueling speculation that were problems amiss.
Zimmer didn’t directly answer if Diggs missing playing time would in fact be as punishment for that missed time. Via The Athletic’s Chad Graff.
Will Stefon Diggs play Sunday?— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) October 4, 2019
Mike Zimmer: “I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Would he not play as punishment for skipping practice?
Zimmer: “He’s already been punished.”
Diggs told reporters Thursday, “I hope they let me play.”
Update (3:21 p.m.): Diggs’ “punishment” was reportedly fines for missing practice and skipping meetings this week, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. It wasn’t the first time he faced punishment for missing meetings, per Pelissero.
The #Vikings fined WR Stefon Diggs for skipping meetings and practice this week, sources say – and that wasn’t the first time Diggs missed a meeting this season. Worth noting a lot of players get fined for things during a season, though. Bottom line: They want Diggs in Minnesota.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 4, 2019
Players are commonly fined by teams and the league for things ranging from skipped team activities to misconduct to even “personal messages” on uniforms. Most often than not, it doesn’t rise to the level of irritation that forces a team to let the player go or trade him. And that seems to be the case here, per Pelissero.
Diggs doesn’t deny trade rumors
Diggs and Adam Thielen both spoke out this week about the Vikings’ run-heavy game plans and quarterback Kirk Cousin’s struggles. When rumors began circulating that Diggs wanted to be traded, he didn’t squash them and instead said “there’s truth to all rumors.”
As with Zimmer regarding if he’ll play or not, the non-denial retort by Diggs says enough by itself. And it is proof-positive this week-long drama isn’t close to over.
Diggs was kept to fewer than three receptions and 50 yards in each of the first three games. He was targeted a high of seven times against the Green Bay Packers, catching one for 49 yards.
Against the Bears last week, he was targeted seven times and caught every one for 108 yards, most of it late in a 16-6 loss.
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