Amid a frustrating first half, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs let his emotions out during a sideline interaction with head coach Sean McDermott.
The Bills got off to a slow start in Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, failing to make a first down until nearly midway through the second quarter. The team is coming off a hectic and emotional four days, with a major storm hitting the city of Buffalo and forcing the game’s relocation to Detroit.
With little time to prepare, the Bills were out of sync on offense to start the game and Diggs appeared visibly frustrated with his lack of participation — until a sideline interaction with McDermott sparked a touchdown drive.
Diggs, McDermott in Emotional Talk
After the Bills went on a field-goal drive to cut Cleveland’s lead to 10-6 in the second quarter, the CBS broadcast caught an emotional interaction between Diggs and McDermott. The Bills receiver appeared frustrated as he had not been targeted yet, but got some comfort from his coach.
“Broadcast had shown Stefon Diggs talking to Sean McDermott for a bit during timeout earlier,” tweeted Katherine Fitzgerald of the Buffalo News. “Diggs seemed frustrated, but trying to talk through things, as Bills offense is struggling. Diggs without a catch or target so far. Bills getting the ball back now on their 22-yard line.”
The talk seemed to be productive. When the Bills stopped the Browns and got the ball back with just under two minutes remaining in the half, quarterback Josh Allen led them on a drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to Diggs.
Diggs earned some praise for his poise during a frustrating first half.
“Love this. This is trust,” noted Nick Veronica of News 4 Buffalo. “Diggs has been an, uh, emotional player in his career when things aren’t going well, but this level of trust in McDermott is great to see.”
Exhausting Week for Bills
Sunday’s game came after a difficult week for the Bills, with the adversity hitting even before the record-breaking winter storm. The Bills were unable to practice on Wednesday after a non-COVID illness hit several players, leaving the team without enough players to go through 11-on-11 drills.
The next day, the NFL announced that Sunday’s game would be moved from Orchard Park to Detroit. The storm dumped more than six feet of snow in the most persistent bands, leaving several Bills players snowed into their homes. Already having missed one practice, the Bills were unable to meet on Friday as the surrounding area remained under a state of emergency with a ban on non-essential travel.
McDermott said the team was doing their best to stick together through the ordeal.
“I think it has a chance to bring your team closer together,” he said, via a report from The Associated Press. “I think there’s some good to it when guys pull together and rally for a cause here.”
The Bills flew out to Detroit on Saturday afternoon, though several players needed the help of neighbors to dig out of their driveways.