There remains something of a mystery about Maryland receiver/returner Stefon Diggs' physical
On Wednesday, coach Randy Edsall confirmed what the media has suspected -- that he's not completely himself physically. Edsall said Diggs "took a ding" against West Virginia on Sept. 21.
But what sort of ding? Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley demurred when I asked about Diggs on Wednesday. Maryland has strict procedures about how and when to release injury information.
Whatever is bothering Diggs may not technically qualify as an injury – he is playing, after all. He may have the sort of nagging issue (a muscle pull, a jammed finger) that plague many players this time of year.
Locksley did not want to run afoul of established procedures by saying too much. He said he looks at the training reports on Diggs and then acts appropriately.
Diggs has a warrior mentality. I think he acquired some of it from his late father, who was an extremely demanding coach. When asked about injuries, Diggs typically responds with, "It's nothing, just bumps and bruises." He usually just plays on.
For two games in a row (West Virginia, Florida State), Diggs had a very un-Diggs-like two catches. I understand part of this was that defenses are focusing more on Diggs this season – they aren't stupid – and that Maryland has another potent receiving weapon this season in Deon Long.
Diggs looked more like himself against Virginia with six catches for 96 yards. The Terps are at Wake Forest on Saturday.
I suspect that Maryland's desire to protect Diggs' health is part of the reason why freshman Will
Likely –- and not Diggs -– has been tapped to return many punts. Diggs returned both punts and kicks last season. Remember that last season was an exercise for Maryland in trying to find as many ways as possible to creatively get their best playmaker the ball.
Of course, another reason to use Likely on punts is that he is potentially dynamic in his own right. I think everybody is waiting for Likely to take one to the end zone this season.
I asked Diggs about Likely during training camp. "If I can be back there every time [for punts and kicks], I would," Diggs said.
But he was also realistic. "It's good to have those guys [Likely and Deon Long] in your arsenal and to bring some fresh legs into the game. I would appreciate some help," Diggs conceded with a smile.