ORCHARD PARK, NY — Stefon Diggs’ frustrations with the outcome of the Bills’ divisional round playoff game were visible Sunday on the sideline and afterwards, and on Monday night, the star receiver shared some of his thoughts on Twitter.
“Want me to be okay with losing? Nah,” Diggs tweeted. “Want me to be okay with our level of play when it’s not up to the standard? Nah.”
In a third tweet, Diggs added: “It’s easy to criticize my reaction more than the result.”
Want me to be okay with our level of play when it’s not up to the standard? Nah
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) January 23, 2023
Diggs was shown on the TV broadcast midway through the fourth quarter of Buffalo’s 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals with his arms outstretched, seemingly saying things in the direction of quarterback Josh Allen as the Bills were limited to a season low in points.
After the game, Diggs initially moved towards leaving the stadium with his things before some coaches had an opportunity to get to the locker room, but practice squad running back Duke Johnson stopped and talked to him and Diggs went briefly back to the locker room.
“Just knowing that [Diggs] was in an emotional state, it’s not who he is, it’s not what he’s about,” Johnson said Monday. “He was just in an emotional state, so don’t want [an] emotional decision to affect him in the long term, so I thought it was best that he just be a part of whatever was going on in the locker room at the time.”
Diggs was present for Sean McDermott’s comments to the team, per the Buffalo coach, but he left soon after, in addition to multiple other Bills players departing quickly.
Diggs was not available during the team’s locker room cleanout Monday. McDermott said he spoke to Diggs the day after the game, but the coach kept the details between them.
“Stef’s a highly competitive individual, as we all know, and that’s part of the reason why we all love him,” McDermott said. “And he’s frustrated, like we all are. He was in today, and he and I spoke, and I’ll leave it at that.”
Johnson said he thinks Diggs deserves more credit for deciding to return to the locker room Sunday.
“Diggs didn’t have to listen to me. Diggs didn’t have to, he didn’t have to go back in there, but he chose to, because he also knew at that moment he was just upset,” Johnson said. “So, I think it’s a lot of credit to him, as well, just because, again, he didn’t have to. He could have told me to — you feel me? So, at the end of the day, again , he’s emotional, it was a big, big step for him, and I appreciate him more than he knows[s] for actually listening and going back in the locker room.”
Diggs was far from alone in his frustration after an emotional season ended. The loss left many players searching for answers after a third straight year of coming up short of advancing to the Super Bowl.
“I’ll ask [what is it going to take to get over the hump] just like you asking that question,” wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie said. “I really don’t know, ’cause everything — we got the players, we got the coaches, we got everything we wanted. We’re winning football games when we need to win them during the season, and then we get to the playoffs, it’s just like, it’s not there, and I’m still not understanding that.”