Stefon Diggs has been punished for his absence at practice on Wednesday and is good to go, but Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wouldn’t commit publicly to playing the wide receiver against the Giants in New Jersey on Sunday.
“I don’t know,” Zimmer said Friday when asked if Diggs will play. “We’ll see.”
Asked if Diggs looked like his old self in practice Thursday and Friday, Zimmer said, “I have to watch the tape.”
Asked what he’ll base his decision on when it comes to playing Diggs, Zimmer said, “Got to watch the tape.”
Then, when asked to confirm that it will be based on how Diggs practiced and not based on punishment, Zimmer said, “He’s already been punished.”
Diggs didn’t show up Wednesday. The Vikings listed him on their injury report as “noninjury related.”
Diggs showed up Thursday and gave an interview in which he said Wednesday’s absence was because of a cold. However, teams list “illness” on their injury reports in that case. The Vikings didn’t do that, and Zimmer called the Diggs situation “an internal matter” that he would not discuss.
Diggs also acknowledged that he is frustrated with the passing game and did not deny that he wants to be traded, saying, “There’s truth in every rumor.”
When asked at his locker on Friday whether he’ll play Sunday, Diggs said, “You’re talking to the wrong guy” before walking away and saying he doesn’t talk on Fridays.
Two counted out
The Vikings will be without nickel corner Mackensie Alexander (elbow/groin) for the third game in four weeks. Also listed as out was linebacker Kentrell Brothers (hamstring/wrist).
Asked how Alexander’s absence will impact Sunday’s game, Zimmer said, “It doesn’t.” He said Mike Hughes is ready to step up and take on a bigger role in his third game back after recovering from multiple torn ligaments in his left knee.
“He’s good,” Zimmer said. “He’ll be ready to go. He missed a couple tackles the first game, but other than that he’s fine.”
Passing woes inflated
After saying earlier in the week that quarterback Kirk Cousins needs to “pull the trigger,” trust what he sees and not be so concerned about the consequences, Zimmer sounded less concerned on Friday about the passing game.
“I think it’s a misnomer,” he said. “Two games we didn’t throw the ball. The other two games, we threw it some. We’re going to try and have balance.
“The passing game, there’s a lot more to it than just passing and catching. We got to have a firm pocket, protection in the right place. Can’t miss blocks. And then we got to throw it and catch it. Be at the right depths. All kinds of things.”
Not judged at 2-2
The Vikings, as Zimmer pointed out, ultimately won’t be judged on being 2-2.
“Two years ago we were 2-2,” said Zimmer, referring to the team’s run to the NFC title game. “Three years ago, we were 5-0 and won eight. This isn’t going to define us where we are right now. What’s going to define is how we prepare for this game and the next game and the next game.
“I tell the team all the time the teams I respect the most are the teams that when they go out there, no matter what happens the week before we put everything we got into this week.
“And then whatever happens that week, we put everything we got into the next week. That’s how you’re going to maintain success.”