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Bills HC Sean McDermott on WR Stefon Diggs' lack of recent production: 'We're going to need him down the stretch'

Buffalo Bills star receiver Stefon Diggs has seen his production and play time dwindle in recent weeks. In the past three contests, he's played 65 percent or fewer plays and generated four straight games of fewer than 50 yards.

Head coach Sean McDermott said this week that Diggs' play-time decrease isn't injury-related and noted that the lack of targets is simply Josh Allen making the right reads and not forcing the ball to Diggs.

"Medically, there's nothing big that's been, to my knowledge, ailing him and the communication I'm getting from Nate (Breske), our trainer on that," McDermott said, via the team's official website. "And it's just Josh going through his reads and going through his progressions and making sure that we're making sure we're going through the progressions properly."

Diggs consistently played roughly 90 percent of the snaps earlier this season but has come off the field more of late. Offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who took over in mid-November, said the club "knows we're better" when Diggs is on the field but said curtailing the reps is part of the overall plan.

"Look, I think there's times where we definitely tag him out of plays," Brady said. "I think it was something earlier in the season we talked about to get to where we want to get -- to just not playing (that many snaps)."

He added: "There's plays where we go into the weekend where we purposely have him out of the game."

Diggs has generated fewer than 50 receiving yards in six of the past seven games, including the past four.

Diggs Weeks 1-9: 72.2 catch percent, 7.8 catches per game, 11.9 yards per catch, 92.7 receiving yards per game, seven TD catches.

Diggs Weeks 10-17: 54.5 catch percent, 4.3 catches per game, 8.7 yards per catch, 37.4 receiving yards per game, one TD catch.

In Week 4's win over Miami, Diggs generated 120 yards and three TDs on six catches. The Bills need a game like that Sunday against the Dolphins with the AFC East title on the line.

"He's a big factor for us," McDermott said. "We're going to need him down the stretch here."

The stretch is here. Buffalo needs a vintage game from Diggs in Miami on Sunday night to complete their comeback and swipe the division title for the fourth straight season.

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