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For Redskins, Stopping Stefon Diggs Is Key To Getting Back In The Win Column


Since entering the league in 2015, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs has become amongst the league's most dangerous receivers.*

The Redskins have faced some of the top receivers in the NFL over the first half of their season. The Redskins secondary has faced the likes of Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown, Dallas' Dez Bryant, New York's Odell Beckham Jr., and Cincinnati's A.J. Green.

This week, Washington has the challenge of stopping Vikings second-year pro Stefon Diggs, who has turned into one of the top receivers in the league in just two years.

Despite missing a game, Diggs leads the Vikings in receptions (46) and receiving yards (546). He has become quarterback Sam Bradford's go-to target, and was a major reason why the Vikings started the season with five straight wins.

"I think the guy [Bradford] really likes is [No.] 14 [Stefon Diggs]," Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry said. "That's kind of is his comfort."

Diggs returns to Maryland, a state in which he made a name for himself growing up, for the first time in his brief NFL career. A star at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., Diggs was a top-15 recruit in the nation when he decided to stay home and play for his home state school, the University of Maryland.

Diggs was the best offensive player the Maryland football program had seen since Redskins tight end Vernon Davis, who was a first-team All-American in College Park.

"Yeah, it's going to be exciting – my first time coming home, having a game back home," Diggs said. "I'm not thinking about too much of a homecoming, but I'm definitely excited to see my mom and just to get back to playing [in] my old town. So I'm just excited."

While Diggs thrived at Maryland, two of his three seasons ended early due to season-ending injuries. Health concerns were a main reason he slipped to the fifth round in the 2015 NFL draft, where the Vikings got a steal.

That chip on his shoulder has driven him to be one of the better receivers in the NFL, and a matchup problem for many teams.

Diggs knows he will have his hands full this week, when he faces Redskins cornerback Josh Norman.

"He's a very talented individual," Diggs said of Norman. "It's all about preparing. These guys that you go against each and every week, you're going to have to prepare. You have got to watch film on it, you have got to see what he likes to do [and] what he doesn't like to do. It's just all about preparation."

Shutting down Diggs will be the first step for the Redskins defense in stopping an offense that has struggled over the past three games.

This is the National Football League," Barry said. "There's weapons on every single team. There's going to be issues and weapons every single week, and obviously the Minnesota Vikings are no different."

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