Vikings’ Everson Griffen Comes Back, Set to Play against Saints

Everson Griffen during a Minnesota Vikings training and press conference in 2017. Photo by Roger Goodgroves/REX/Shutterstock (9177269ac)

Everson Griffen is slated to play against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday after a six-week absence over mental health issues.

The 30-year-old defensive end hasn’t played for the Minnesota Vikings since Week 2 when he was questionably placed on injury reserve. At the time, the Vikings described Griffen’s situation as “not football related” but would not explain further.

Griffen hit news headlines in the last week of September following an incident on September 22nd where he was reported to be “explosive screaming and yelling” at the team facility. The Vikings demanded the defensive end’s agent and his family to place him under a mental checkup before he was eligible to play again.

This week, Griffen has been on the headlines in part due to the uncertainty of whether he will play on Sunday. Despite reports that the NFL wanted Minnesota to place the Pro Bowler in injury reserve, Coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t said anything about the player’s availability.

However, Griffen wasn’t in the Viking’s injury report by Friday and has been practicing all week. Zimmer also welcomed the player back and wished a quick recovery.

In his part, Griffen said he was happy to be back and looked forward to playing again.

“I’m just excited to get back here with my team and get back to the grind,” Griffen said on Wednesday. “It’s been hard to be away but I’m happy to be back. It’s a good feeling right now and I’m taking one day at a time and thing at a time to get things back on track.”