EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — For Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium was nowhere near as eventful as the week that preceded it.
Just hours after news broke about the $200,000 in fines he accrued last week, Diggs was mostly a bystander during the Vikings’ 28-10 victory over the New York Giants.
While teammates Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen were lighting up the scoreboard and padding their stat sheets, Diggs managed only three catches for 44 yards.
But after the game, the number Diggs was asked about first was the 200 grand.
“Very, very steep,” he said of the fines levied after he missed two days of practices and meetings. “Being a part of this team, I should have communicated better. I’m always taking accountability — that’s the kind of man I am.
“I told you all I was sick,” he said. ”I’m willing to accept every penalty and every consequence that come with it.”
Diggs insisted that, despite possible disgruntlement with coach Mike Zimmer’s run-first offense, all is right in Vikings world.
“It was never ‘not good’,” he 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.”
Multiple reports before Sunday’s kickoff said several teams had inquired about making a trade for the player made famous by The Minnesota Miracle 21 months ago. But Diggs said, with a little wink, “I want to be in Minnesota.”
Zimmer said Friday that he didn’t know if he would bench Diggs for his transgressions, but on Sunday he said he did not even consider sitting him.
“I said a lot of things on Friday,” Zimmer said. “I told you he’d already been punished.”
Diggs had nothing but praise for the teammates who carried the Minnesota offense Sunday: Thielen with two touchdown catches, Cook with his 218 yards of total offense, and quarterback Kirk Cousins with his 306 yards and passer rating of 138.6
“We’ve got a lot of horses in the stable, and a lot of guys can have success,” Diggs said. “It’s going to be huge, doing whatever they ask me to do at this point, as far as team success and driving that.”
Cousins threw only four passes to Diggs against the Giants, but he was more generous later tossing praise to his receiver.
“He’s one of the best players in the world. I am absolutely thrilled he is on our team,” the quarterback said. “His role on the team allows Adam to get the day that Adam had (today).”
Cook said Diggs played a huge role in the victory by “making him block for me.”
“He threw some huge blocks down to open the field,” Cook said. “I think it’s more about getting involved and winning football games.”
As for Diggs’ frustration, Cook understands.
“When we are losing, that’s frustrating, and that brings a lot out of a person,” Cook said. “Everybody shows their frustration in a different way and in a different level. When we’re winning, everything is just going to go how we want it to go.”