Playmakers make plays and slay fashion. If Josh Allen looks good in shorts, then Stefon Diggs looks good in couture shirts with cutouts. Diggs had an incredible 2020 season, capped off by an immaculate postseason. I say “immaculate” because he played all three playoff games with a torn oblique. When did “Abs of Steel Stefon” suffer this injury? How does it impact a player’s performance? These questions will be discussed in today’s “Football Injuries Uncovered”.
It’s beyond just “looking good in shirts”
Take it all back to January 3rd, 2021. The Bills are playing the Dolphins in week 17. We had the #2 seed on the line, and the Dolphins were fighting for a playoff berth. Although the storyline was that our backups drubbed up a 56-26 victory over Tua and his JV Fins, the Bills actually played their starters the first half. Stefon secured his receiving titles, and Josh Allen sealed his bid for MVP. However, with 8:31 left in the second quarter, Diggs took a routine catch 16 yards and was roughed up on the play by Miami’s Christian Wilkins. Diggs looked shaken up, but returned and finished with the starters until the end of the first half. Nobody thought much of it.
Following the victory, Diggs was a surprise listing on the injury report leading up to the Colts’ Wild Card Playoff Game. This continued for the rest of the playoffs. So when news hit via Stefon himself, that he played the postseason with a torn oblique, an inquiry was born.
Legend has it, he did play with a tear in his abdominals. If you are wondering what a muscle tear is, feel free to reflect back here. The injury was sustained to the obliques, which is a muscle that is paramount for pulling down receptions. The muscles’ mechanism is responsible for bracing the core, twisting, and side bending. No wonder the NFL’s leading receiver in 2021 had a stellar set.
The Injury and Mystery
Abdominal injuries in the NFL are not unheard of. What is unheard of is an oblique muscle needing reconstruction surgery. Fortunately, Stefon Diggs was not transcendent to the norms and was able to finish the postseason admirably. In a likely scenario, Stefon suffered a low-grade strain of his oblique muscle. Although he undoubtedly played with pain, he should be well beyond fully recovered at this time.
However, Brandon Beane made a comment that caught my attention in one of his draft pressers. He had mentioned how the medical reports for this year’s draft class were behind due to COVID regulations. He specifically mentioned that you don’t know if a guy needs something like a “sports hernia surgery”. To me, it’s a little funny he mentioned that injury. Could there be a fear in the back of his head that his superstar WR might be suffering from this? Was it a little sublingual verbal nod for Stefon Diggs to come to OTAs and get it checked out ASAP? I don’t know, but it sure is fathomable to speculate.
Many players suffer from what’s commonly called a “sports hernia”. The most vulnerable tendons involved in this injury are the ones that attach the obliques to the pubic bones.
If Stefon’s injury is lingering, lookout. He will get dialed up for a surgical procedure that would shelf him for two months. This injury is definitely something guys can play with to an extent, but it lingers and they usually get fixed under the knife. Think back to Tyrod Taylor having this surgery in the offseason before the 2017 season. With a recovery time of two months, the clock is ticking.