For the first time this offseason, Bills WR Stefon Diggs was in uniform for practice.
After being absent for Day 1 of Mandatory Minicamp on Tuesday, Diggs returned on Wednesday, going through individual drills only as he gets ramped up for an eventual full workload.
Right out of the gate, Diggs went through his ritual handshake with Josh Allen — the first signal that the events of Tuesday had hopefully been smoothed over.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott took the podium after Day 2 of Minicamp to explain what exactly happened over the course of Tuesday. Diggs had been in Buffalo on Monday and Tuesday, but left the facility before practice. McDermott shared that he excused Diggs from the first day of minicamp.
"Let me be clear, Stef did everything that he was asked to do. He was here Monday and executed his physical on time. Stef reported Tuesday, and reported for meetings, at which time we had a good conversation," McDermott said. "Great communication, and we got to a point yesterday where we just felt like we all needed a break and some space and so I gave Stef permission to get some space and head out and and then picked up those conversations after practice."
Based on a series of what McDermott labeled as "healthy conversations" with Diggs over the last several days, he is confident Diggs and the staff are on the same page now.
"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," McDermott detailed. "And sometimes you've got to have conversations, you need to communicate and I appreciate Stef being willing to communicate. I thought he did a great job."
When asked if he thinks the situation will linger moving forward, McDermott provided a clear response.
"I feel like it's resolved," he said.
As No. 14 took the field inside the Bills indoor practice facility, the rest of the team got to reunite with one of their key members. Diggs hauled in a few passes from Allen during drills and the receiver also spent time talking with the younger members of the Bills receiving core that arrived this offseason.
"It's great," Bills center Mitch Morse said. "Stefon is such an explosive personality as well as a football player. We all have our personal relationships with every player in here. And I feel like we have a very good one between us, too."
A day earlier, McDermott had said he was "very concerned" about Diggs' absence. At the podium Wednesday, McDermott clarified that his natural tendency is to be concerned anytime a player doesn't practice with the team.
"Whenever a player has something going on or misses and he's not here for some reason, I am concerned. That's my sentiment with any player and in particular a player as important to us as Stef," McDermott said.
Even if it's taken some time for both sides to see eye-to-eye, Wednesday's practice offered positive reassurance heading into the summer break before training camp.
"Stef's a valuable member of this football team," McDermott said. "He's one of our captains and a leader on this football team. He works extremely, extremely hard, as hard as any player I've been around to be elite in this league and that's what he is. And I love him."
Morse impressed with two new Bills guards
Center Mitch Morse is entering his fifth season with the Bills — his 10th career NFL season — and as Buffalo prepares to head to training camp at the end of July, he sees a team that has plenty of depth to compete for a championship.
"We have all the pieces of the puzzle," Morse said. "We have the tools, we have the opportunity. we have the guys for us. it's just kind of going out there and getting better."
The spring practice sessions in OTAs and Minicamp are a particularly important time for the offensive line, especially with this group of Bills that has added seven new players: two in the NFL draft, fours in free agency, and another as a UDFA.
Most of the turnover has happened at both guard positions and Morse has been impressed with David Edwards and O'Cyrus Torrence during team practices so far.
"The guy's super coachable," Morse said of Edwards. "He's just kind of a sponge with information. Quirky dude, love him to death and we're really glad to have him now."
One of the aspects that appealed to the Bills' staff when drafting Torrence was his physicality and strength. After spending time working next to the rookie in drills, Morse can see why he was a valuable add in the second round.
"The dude is just naturally freakishly gifted, strong," Morse shared. "I think just how willing he is to learn [Aaron] Cromer's technique. He's really working on trying to figure it out and get better and he doesn't let bad reps bum him out."
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