Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen attempted to clear the air on the situation involving his star receiver Stefon Diggs’ absence from minicamp last month.
While the situation was ignited by Bills coach Sean McDermott, saying he was “very concerned” after Diggs missed a minicamp practice session, Allen said the situation was overblown by media coverage.
"I love him. That's my guy," Allen said of Diggs on the Bussin' With the Boys podcast by Barstool Sports.
"The media has blown this so far out of proportion. We are in rookie or minicamp. We’re not playing a game for four months. He doesn’t show up for one day. He’s still there. Coach asked him to go home. They’re in talks. They’re trying to resolve some things. It wasn’t anything major. And (the) media blew it up. They’re still talking about it. Let it go. There’s no reason to continue talking about it."
How did Stefon Diggs-Josh Allen drama get started?
Diggs was visibly upset during the Bills’ playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last January, stretching out his arms while yelling in Allen’s direction on the bench after an offensive series.
Diggs – who had just four catches for 35 yards on 10 targets in the 27-10 loss – reportedly was one of the first Bills players to leave the locker room after the season-ending game.
Stefon Diggs exchanging some words with Josh Allen on the sideline pic.twitter.com/J2heSTBMrc
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 22, 2023
The unresolved feelings from last season lingered into June’s minicamp.
What were Sean McDermott’s initial comments on Stefon Diggs?
McDermott said he was "very concerned" about Diggs not attending practice on June 13. One day later, he attempted to clear the air.
"We had a good conversation, great communication," McDermott told reporters on June 14.
"We got to a point where we just felt like we all needed a break and some space. So, I gave Stef permission to get some space and head out and picked up those conversations after practice. So let me make it clear: It was not Stef leaving unexcused − he was excused, by me. And so those conversations have got us to, what I think and believe, is a great spot. … Stef is a valuable member of this football team. He's one of our captains and a leader on this football team."
How did Josh Allen first address Stefon Diggs' absence?
Allen tried his best to diffuse the June 13 situation as well.
"I know internally we’re working on some things. Not football-related, but Stef, he’s my guy," Allen said to reporters.
"Excuse my … I (expletive) love him. He’s a brother of mine. This does not work, what we’re doing here, without him."
Allen also added: "There are some things that could’ve gone better last year. I think as an organization maybe we’re not communicating the right way."
What has been Stefon Diggs’ role in this situation?
Diggs’ agent, Adisa Bakari, told NFL Network he did not "know why (McDermott) said what he said."
"There are things being worked out – on the way to being worked out," Bakari told NFL Network. "Stefon has been there (since) Sunday night. He was in the building this morning."
Diggs, the three-time Pro Bowler, reported to Bills camp on the required Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, before leaving the Tuesday practice. He participated in the Wednesday practice.
How important is Stefon Diggs to the Bills’ success?
Diggs, the Bills’ top playmaker outside of Allen, is in the second year of a $96 million extension he signed with the Bills. He has been a vital part to Buffalo’s contention in the AFC playoff race since joining the team in 2020.
The Bills reached the AFC title game in 2020, but lost to the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs. They lost in a thrilling overtime playoff game to the Chiefs in 2021. And Buffalo was unable to beat Cincinnati at home in the postseason last year.
The Bills need Allen and Diggs clicking on all cylinders if they’re going to again contend during the 2023 NFL season.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Josh Allen says Stefon Diggs' absence at minicamp was overblown