The Buffalo Bills have publicly stood by wide receiver Stefon Diggs and made assurances that there are no tensions with their star wide receiver, but one insider believes there are growing concerns amid his absence from offseason training and series of cryptic posts on social media.
Diggs has been under scrutiny dating back to the end of last season, when he was seen blowing up on the sidelines during the team’s playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia tweeted at the time that Diggs tried to leave the locker room before some coaches even made it down the tunnel, but was stopped by practice squad running back Duke Johnson.
Diggs has continued to stir up drama as he skipped out on optional practices — which he has also done in past years — and through a series of cryptic social media posts that some fans believe showed discontent with the team.
Now, Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News wrote that the questions surrounding Diggs could continue until he returns to the team.
‘Natural’ to Question Stefon Diggs’ Intentions: Insider
In a mailbag column published on May 27, Skurski wrote that Diggs would have the power to end the speculation and questions by returning to the team.
“Without him here to answer those questions, it’s only natural that those concerns grow,” Skurski wrote. “Why, exactly, is he not here? Is it because he truly is unhappy with something in the organization? Only Diggs knows the answers to those questions at the moment.
“He could put that speculation to bed by showing up to practice.”
Skurski added that “all of this will be forgotten” if Diggs returns to the team by the end of the week.
“If not, though, it will, justifiably in my mind, remain a slight concern,” he wrote.
Bills Not Concerned About Stefon Diggs’ Absence
While Skurski may be sensing some growing concern around Diggs’ absence, the Bills have publicly pushed aside the rumors. Bills general manager Brandon Beane spoke about Diggs during a May 1 appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show,” saying he was confident that the team’s star receiver would be back to the team in due time.
“I think we’re in really good shape there and I know he’ll — at the right time — get here and join and be ready to roll for the season,” Beane said.
Beane has also hinted that some of the team’s offseason moves were meant to alleviate some of the pressure on Diggs, who at times was the only consistent wide receiver on the Bills’ roster. The Bills added a pair of free-agent wide receivers in Trent Sherfield and Deonte Harty while moving up in the first round to draft tight end Dalton Kincaid.
Beane also hinted at bigger roles for receivers Khalil Shakir and Gabe Davis in the coming season.
“We were looking for guys to add to our skill positions that can be matchups and whether it’s receiver, tight end, whatever it is, just a guy, another weapon to say, ‘Hey, you can’t double Stef every play,’ ” Beane said. “If you do, we’re expecting this guy to win his one-on-one matchup or Gabe to win his one-on-one matchup. Khalil Shakir, we’ve got a lot of hope for him. I thought he really played well down the stretch when he had his opportunity.”