After calling 911 fearing an intruder and refusing to leave for the majority of Wednesday while law enforcement and team representatives tried to diffuse the situation, the Minnesota Vikings said defensive end Everson Griffen emerged from his home without incident and was receiving mental health treatment.
The Vikings dispatched psychologists to Griffen’s home to collaborate with police in counseling him through yet another troubling mental health issue. The team issued a statement in the afternoon, approximately 12 hours after Griffen’s original 911 call, saying that officials had informed them that the matter had “finished amicably” with Griffen’s appearance.
The Vikings praised the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Carver County Sheriff’s Office, Minnetrista Police Department, and Orono Police Department for their “rapid reaction and devotion” in keeping Griffen safe.
“Our priority remains on Everson’s health and safety, as well as providing him and his family with the resources they need,” the Vikings said.
Griffen, who left the team in 2018 for mental health treatment, had sent images of late-night text conversations to his agent, Brian Murphy, pleading for help because he claimed he was being pursued by assailants. Griffen also shared a video of himself with a pistol that he said was lawfully obtained. Those comments have subsequently been taken off.
The Vikings said they dispatched personnel to Griffen’s house, along with mental health specialists from the team, who were liaising with local police in Minnetrista, where Griffen and his relatives stayed.
Griffen, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, missed 5 matches in 2018 due to mental health issues.
Griffen had made statements about individuals wanting to murder him, according to authorities at the time. He got involved in a brawl at a local hotel the day before a game, then showed up shirtless at teammate Trae Waynes’ house. Griffen was brought to the hospital, but he leapt out of the ambulance at one point before being coaxed back into it by officers.
Griffen was never arrested or charged with a crime, but he was subjected to a mental health examination. He took a team-supported vacation after that, returning later in the season with 512 sacks in 11 games. Griffen stated he spent the last three months of the 2018 season in a sober house in an interview with the NFL Network two years later.
The Vikings were more concerned about Griffen’s health than with his absence from the game, but their backline was already thin. On Tuesday, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list and will miss Sunday’s game.
Michael Pierce, the team’s nose tackle, has been out for over two months with an elbow injury and will miss at least one more game. Danielle Hunter, a defensive end, has injured her pectoral muscle and will miss the rest of the season.
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