The Bills suited up for their first day of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday afternoon. Head coach Sean McDermott had close to his full roster in attendance. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs was the one player missing from Tuesday's practice.
"Stef is not here," McDermott said. "Everybody else is here at the current time."
When asked if it was concerning that Diggs was absent for practice, McDermott responded, "I'm very concerned."
The team later stated Diggs was at the facility on Monday during the day as well as Tuesday up until practice began.
Bills QB Josh Allen met with media after practice ended and shared his thoughts on Diggs missing practice.
"I know internally we're working on some things, not football related," Allen said. "But, Stef, he's my guy. I love him. He's a brother of mine. This does not work, what we're doing here, without him."
Allen continued: "We wish he was in here today and was out there on the field with us and that's not the case, but I've got his back no matter what. And again, I've got no doubt that we will figure out what's going on. I frigging love him. I can't stress that enough. There's things that I could do better to help out with this process and try to get him back here and be the Buffalo Bill that he's meant to be."
Diggs has had three-straight seasons of more than 100 catches and 1,200 receiving yards. The WR has scored 29 touchdowns since becoming a Bill in 2020. Diggs also led the NFL with 127 catches and 1,535 receiving yards in his first season with Buffalo.
As to why Diggs did not practice on Tuesday, Allen said the following:
"I think for the most part it has to do with more teamwork than anything." Allen explained. "And I know you can call that football, you can call that non-football. But I've got to be better, and I will be. Like I said, we'll figure this out and move on and look at this as a blimp in the road."
The QB did say he talked to Diggs on Tuesday.
"I talked to him today and I'm sure we're gonna have some more conversations moving forward as an organization, as QB-receiver, as an offensive coordinator, everything that goes in," Allen shared. He's such a special player that we don't want this to be a distraction, he doesn't want this to be a distraction."
Veteran edge rusher Von Miller also spoke with the media and said the last time he talked to Diggs, the WR expressed he wanted to be in Buffalo.
"I'm in support of Stef," Miller expressed. "We got all different types of perspectives, and I get his perspective. I know he wants to be here. He works extremely hard on and off the football field. He's a great friend. He's a great leader, all the way around. So I'm in support of my guy and I want him to be happy. I want us all to be happy so we can continue to compete for Super Bowl."
Scroll to see the top photos from Day 1 of the Buffalo Bills Mandatory Minicamp at One Bills Drive.
Allen said he hopes to see Diggs on the field at some point during mandatory minicamp.
"I just want him to know I've got his back and I'm gonna do everything in my power to make sure that we can get him back because we are a much, much better team with him on the field," Allen said. "And in order to accomplish the goals that we want to accomplish, we need him and he's an all the way in dude. Once he's all the way in, he's gonna be all the way in and that's why guys gravitate towards him. He's a fiery competitor.
"At the end of the day, he wants to win, this team wants to win and make no mistake, he's a Buffalo Bill. We're gonna work it out."
The QB explained he believes the two still have a lot left in the tank in terms of what they can accomplish together on the field.
Miller expressed he wouldn't be a Buffalo Bill without Diggs' help.
"He is one of the main reasons why I'm here," Miller said. "And I just wanted to come up here and voice my support of Stef to try to alleviate whatever it is going on. It's not that serious. I get up here and I tell you all I keep it real with y'all every time I'm up here.
"It's really not that serious. We're trying to dial everything back in so we can continue to compete for Super Bowls this year."
Scroll for must-see photos of Bills players arriving at One Bills Drive for the start of Mandatory Minicamp on June 13, 2023.
Damar Hamlin showing out at practice
Sean McDermott shared that safety Damar Hamlin's reps have increased as he continues to make his way back to the field. They are still taking it one day at a time and doing things at Hamlin's cadence. Last week, Hamlin had a practice to remember.
"He continues to amaze us all," McDermott said of Hamlin. "He had an interception, I think it was last week. Just to watch that unfold and just a moment I guess that I'll never forget with how long I've been coaching. And then when I'm done coaching one day, it's just fun to watch that for a young man to have that moment.
"And then for him to continue to be taking the steps towards getting back. All that being said, it's still one day at a time and in his cadence. So I'm very impressed by his approach and we'll see where it goes taking it one day at a time."
Von Miller health update
Miller is continuing to make strides in rehab his knee injury. Miller said at this point, the recovery is on him.
"Between six and 11 or 12 months, the healing is really no different between month to month," Miller said. "So I'm in a great spot now where it's all on me. I can't go out there and mess it up or injure myself -- that possibility is always there, but as far as my ACL and the surgery that I had done, I can't mess it up doing regular stuff. My biggest task now is to transition from a rehab warrior to a pass rusher. Going through football, getting the conditioning now, just being a football player again."
Miller reiterated his goal is to be ready for Week 1.
"The plan is to practice, get some practice reps so I can be ready for Week 1," Miller shared. "I'm not a believer in just showing up to the game and rushing what I've got to do. I've got to get my practice shots out here on the football field, so I definitely have to have some work in training camp. What that entails, I don't know. How many reps will it be? I don't know, but I'll have some reps in training camp to help get me ready for Week 1."