When the NFL season wrapped last Sunday, Buffalo Bills’ wide receiver Stefon Diggs made big news for two reasons. One, he’d finished his first year in Buffalo with more receiving yards (1535) and receptions (127) than anybody else in the NFL. Two, because a camera caught him on the sideline, mid-game, flossing. (Not the dance! Cleaning his teeth.)
It was a rare 2020 Stefon Diggs highlight in that it featured none of his dynamic athleticism and no helpless defenders desperately trying—and failing—to cover, slow down, or otherwise contain one of the league’s best and most exciting receivers. It’s also perhaps not what people expected when, ahead of the season, he was traded to Buffalo from the Minnesota Vikings, who took Diggs in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Though Diggs spent five productive years in Minnesota, emerging as one of the game’s most elusive and dangerous deep threats, his tenure there ended somewhat acrimoniously. After becoming a Vikings hero in the 2018 playoffs by catching a game-winning, 61-yard touchdown as time expired—dubbed the “Minneapolis Miracle”—Diggs signed a five-year, $72 million extension. But, in the last couple of seasons, Minnesota relied on a run-first offense (which meant fewer touches for receivers), Diggs fired off some cryptic social media posts, missed a practice and some team meetings, and rumors swirled that he wanted out. So, in March, Minnesota shipped Diggs to Buffalo.
If Diggs got what he wanted, Buffalo did, too. By pairing Diggs with stud quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills built the NFL’s most explosive offense outside of Kansas City. Now they’ve won six straight games (by an average of 20 points) and head into the playoffs hotter than any other team in the league. If long-suffering Bills fans end their Super Bowl drought, they’ll have Diggs, his explosive route-running, and his clean teeth to thank.
Earlier this week, GQ spoke to Diggs about vanquishing the ghosts of Minnesota, having too many cross-body bags, and reflecting on his incredible season.
So, first off: Why were you flossing?
[laughs] I was only flossing because we had oranges—you know, to keep from cramping. I had it stuck in my teeth. I was like, “I can’t play in the game thinking about this.” You know how uncomfortable it is to have something in your tooth.
I saw you tweeted, “You know how the oranges be,” but I didn’t know you actually had oranges at the time.
Especially at halftime too. I get like a whole two boxes full. I love oranges.
So do you have them every game?
Heck, yeah. Every game. This was the first game that they got stuck in my teeth that bad where I couldn’t even really do nothing.
Flossing’s tough, man. I can barely do it once a day.
Nobody stays committed.
How did you catch wind that it had picked up traction on the Internet?
Right after the game. People were saying, “You know that everybody saw you flossing?” I was like, “Damn, why is it such a big deal? Nobody ever got something caught in their teeth before?” At least, we were winning. I wasn’t losing and flossing. That’d be extremely bad.
At what point did it occur to you that you might end the season with the most receiving yards in the NFL?
I didn’t ever really think about it. It wasn’t something that was in my mind, like, “Oh, I’m trying to lead the league in receiving.” I was really just trying to win. And it just happened that my team liked to throw the ball a lot. I was getting a lot of targets. It shook out towards the end. Like, damn, I’m pretty up there with everybody else.