When two gifted, outgoing, highly-paid players are forced to practice against each other for a week and a half straight, things are bound to get chippy.
That was the case with Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who ostensibly crossed the line and forced head coach Mike Zimmer’s hand Wednesday.
The two stars were held out of Wednesday’s afternoon practice after trash talking during Tuesday’s practice and Wednesday morning’s walkthrough.
Zimmer wouldn’t confirm whether the jawing caused the mini-suspension, but said the two “did not make me happy.”
During team drills on Tuesday, Diggs beat Rhodes for a long touchdown reception and threw the ball into the stands, which appeared to infuriate Rhodes. The Pro Bowl corner then refused to leave the field despite being surrounded by the second- and third-string defense. He tried goading Diggs into rejoining the offense so the two could match up again.
The trash talk reportedly continued Wednesday morning, and Rhodes walked off the field earlier than the rest of the team.
“Just undisciplined stuff,” Zimmer said.
The head coach has a history of low tolerance for training camp scuffles. He booted Reid Fragel and Noor Davis from a 2017 practice after the two got in a shoving match.
The Vikings have one more practice Thursday afternoon to prepare for their preseason opener Saturday night at Denver.