Diggs isn't wearing pads at Monday's practice, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports.
Diggs still came out on the field with his teammates and wasn't sporting any sort of wrap or brace. The Vikings may just be rewarding him with a reduced practice workload after he caught three passes for 35 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive of Saturday's preseason win over the Broncos. It was encouraging to see Diggs account for three targets on Kirk Cousins' four pass attempts.
While yet to produce a 1,000-yard season, Diggs has vastly outperformed his fifth-round draft spot, averaging 67 catches for 824 yards and five touchdowns per season despite playing only 13 or 14 games in each of his three NFL campaigns. His new extension -- which will likely rank around 10th to 12th among wide receivers in average annual value -- could look like a slight bargain by the end of the season if new quarterback Kirk Cousins and new offensive coordinator John DeFillippo can help the Minnesota offense improve its vertical aspect. Diggs is now signed with the Vikings through 2023, while fellow wide receiver Adam Thielen has a four-year, $19.25 million contract that runs through 2020.
The Vikings lured John DeFilippo away from the Eagles to replace Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator, then signed Cousins to replace Case Keenum/Sam Bradford/Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. The team also lost RB Jerick McKinnon and added WR Kendall Wright, but retained four of five starters on the offensive line as well as its top three pass-catchers from 2017 (Diggs, Thielen, Kyle Rudolph). Diggs is hoping for a true breakout in the final year of his rookie contract, after turning in three seasons that were productive but unspectacular, marked by fast starts followed by mid-season swoons. He did at least bounce back from his slump in 2017, scoring a touchdown in each game Weeks 15-17, then catching 14 of 22 targets for 207 yards and a touchdown in two playoff contests. The 24-year-old wideout figures to get a few more deep shots with Cousins under center.
Diggs caught six of 10 targets for 137 yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 29-24 NFC divisional-round victory over the Saints.
Even though the Vikings offense got off to a hot start and ultimately scored the first 17 points of the game, Diggs didn't contribute much early on and had just two receptions for 28 yards at halftime. However, the Maryland product came up clutch on several occasions in the second half, and no reception was bigger than his last. With Minnesota down by one point and just 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Diggs hauled in a long bomb at the New Orleans' 30-yard line and, thanks to whiffed tackle by Saints safety Marcus Williams, was able to scamper his way to the house for the game-winning touchdown. The Vikings will now advance to next weekend's NFC championship game against an Eagles team that allowed just 6.5 yards per pass attempt during the regular season, which was the third-lowest mark in the league.
Diggs had six receptions for 65 yards on six targets, including a 15-yard touchdown, in Sunday's win over Chicago.
Diggs finished the regular season on a roll with touchdowns in each of his last three games. He finishes the regular season with 64 receptions for 849 yards and eight touchdowns. He had fewer receptions and yards then last season, but more touchdowns (three in 2016). He'll try to keep his touchdown streak going in the playoffs after a bye week.
|P4||8/30/18||@ TEN||8:00 pm|
|2||9/16/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|4||9/27/18||@ LAR||8:20 pm|
|5||10/7/18||@ PHI||4:25 pm|
|7||10/21/18||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/18/18||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ NE||4:25 pm|
|14||12/10/18||@ SEA||8:15 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|