EAGAN, Minn.-This just in: Vikings players might occasionally get into practice fights and might even, as a result, be kicked out of practice for the rest of the day. But at the end of the day, as they say, they all still love each other.
Of this, fans were assured Thursday when receiver Stefon Diggs and cornerback Xavier Rhodes addressed the reason they sat out of the Vikings' full-pads practice Wednesday afternoon at TCO Performance Center in Eagan.
"We go at it, but it's all love," Diggs told reporters. "It's a family thing here."
Said Rhodes: "It was just the competitive nature in us. I didn't want to lose. He didn't want to lose. ... 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."
Coach Mike Zimmer was willing to meet Rhodes halfway on the sibling analogy.
"Juvenile is probably better," he said.
Diggs and Rhodes got into it during Wednesday's morning walk-through and were subsequently no-shows for afternoon practice, a sort of time out for two of Zimmer's best young players. They were back for Thursday's afternoon walk-through and eager to rejoin the team for practice in the evening.
"There was no time out," Zimmer said. "I just decided to do what I did. Everything is good."
The Vikings have been in full-team practices since July 28 and play their first preseason game on Saturday night against the Broncos in Denver.
"We're still trying to hit each other (in camp), with all love, though, at the end of the day," Diggs said. "That's been the main focus, and it's going to stay the main focus. But definitely it's exciting to go hit somebody else."
Asked what he did during the practice he missed on Wednesday, Rhodes replied, "I was watching practice, actually."
So, there are windows in Zimmer's doghouse.