EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Stefon Diggs’ wallet is lighter because the fifth-year receiver said he’s accepted the Vikings’ $200,000-plus in fines as “taking accountability” for his actions. Diggs skipped mandatory meetings and practices last week because of what league sources have described as his simmering frustration with the offense.
Diggs, who had three catches for 44 yards in Sunday’s 28-10 victory against the Giants, said he “should have communicated better” after unexcused absences on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Very, very steep,” Diggs said of the team fines. “Being a part of this team now, I should have communicated better. I’m always taking accountability, that’s the kind of man I am. So, at the end of the day, I take accountability. I take everything that comes with it, and as far as it being steep — that will be your conversation.”
From the visiting locker room at MetLife Stadium, Diggs made the strongest endorsement of his future with the Vikings after doing little to dispel rumors last week that he wanted to be traded.
“Yeah, I want to be in Minnesota,” Diggs said with his standard wink and smile.
The Vikings did not consider benching Diggs in New York, according to coach Mike Zimmer. Diggs started against the Giants and played his typical full-time role.
When asked about catching only three balls Sunday, Diggs said he’s focused on “team success.” Receiver Adam Thielen had seven catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
“We’re always there for each other when we have frustration,” Thielen said. “We’re always there for each other when we don’t think that we played well and we’re frustrated at ourselves. He’s always there for me and I’m going to be there for him. He’s my guy, and I’m going to be there for him.”
Running back Dalvin Cook remained the Vikings’ focal point Sunday with a career-high 218 yards from scrimmage on 27 touches. Cook credited Diggs when asked about his involvement.
“He threw some huge blocks down to open the field,” Cook said, “and I think it’s more about getting involved and winning football games. When we are losing, that’s frustrating and that brings a lot out of a person. Me, I was frustrated after the game, too. Everybody shows their frustration in a different way and in a different level.”
Diggs tried to close the chapter on his dissatisfaction with the offense by saying it “never” existed, which runs contrary to the unexcused absences that led him to pay more than $200,000 to the team.
“It was never not good,” Diggs said. “Outside people got things a little shaky, but at this point — I’m a team guy. I’m here and I want to win.”