Stefon Diggs and Xavier Rhodes issued a bit of explanation after feuding during practices on Tuesday and Wednesday and then being forced to sit out Wednesday’s afternoon practice.

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer handed down the discipline to his star wide receiver and cornerback on Wednesday, saying they “did not make me happy” and were “undisciplined.” But on Thursday, the final day of practice before Saturday’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos, both Diggs and Rhodes were participating in the morning walk-through.

Diggs apologized to fans who were unable to get his autograph on Wednesday, the day that receivers were scheduled to sign for fans at training camp.

“Nothing happened. Brothers argue, brothers fight. We go at it. But it’s all love. It’s a family thing here,” Diggs said. “We definitely keep everything in-house, so if you’re looking for an answer …”

Not much was provided for specifics by either of them, but the evidence was on the field during practices on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, Diggs caught a 50-yard touchdown pass over the middle of the field with Rhodes in coverage. Diggs celebrated by throwing the ball into the stands from the end zone. Asked if Diggs’ celebration was what initiated the feud, Rhodes called it a “moment thing” but didn’t explain it further.

Rhodes refused to come out of practice after that, taking reps with the second- and third-team defense, refusing to come off the field and yelling at Diggs, “Get your [expletive] back out here!”

“It was just the competitive nature in us. I didn’t want to lose. He didn’t want to lose. Just stuff like that,” Rhodes said on Thursday after returning to the practice field. “It’s stuff like that if you have a sibling you grow up with and he does something you don’t like and then something tends to go off. Then again, you come back the next day and you’re hugging and playing around. That’s exactly how it was. It’s a brotherly love type thing. We are going to have fun today.”

The two didn’t match up again on Tuesday, despite Rhodes still being on the field when the first-team offense was back in. Diggs either lined up in the slot or on the other side of the formation in those instances.

In Wednesday’s morning walk-through, Diggs caught another long pass in between safeties Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo. It appeared Diggs said something to Sendejo on the way back to the huddle and Sendejo had to be restrained by defensive teammates. Rhodes, who wasn’t involved with that play, pulled off his jersey in disgust.

A short while later, Diggs was across the field from the defensive backs talking with Zimmer. They both walked over to the defensive backs, where it appeared a conversation took place. Diggs was also talking extensively with receivers coach Darrell Hazell after the morning walk-through before leaving the field.

Diggs and Rhodes stuck to the comparison of siblings arguing, but Zimmer called it “juvenile.”

“Everybody who has siblings, if you ever got into it with your sibling it’s always fine afterwards. For me going out today, I’m excited to practice. Pretty sure he’s excited to be back to work,” Diggs said.

“… It’s not like we had to bury the hatchet. It was nothing like that. It was just two competitive guys wanting to go out each and every day, that’s all.”

Rhodes said it was a rough patch but he, too, was looking to put the “incident” behind them and expects both of them to move forward as leaders of the team.


“We competitive. We compete each and every day. But we family first. It’s a brotherhood. Sometimes you’re just going to go through it. We came together as a team. We knew what we did wrong. We were accountable for it,” Rhodes said. “They are holding us accountable because we’re leaders of our team. It’s something we went through. It was a rough patch at the moment. It’s good now. It’s over and done with. We still going to go out there and compete every day because we know we need one another.”