The Vikings went off the rails Sunday, losing in historic fashion to the Buffalo Bills as a 16.5-point favorite. During the game, defensive end Everson Griffen was nowhere to be seen. Mike Zimmer was predictably tight-lipped about the situation, but some concerning details surrounding Griffen’s absence have begun to emerge, involving a bizarre incident with a gun at a Minneapolis hotel.
According to a report from Josina Anderson of ESPN, Griffen was in a hospital being evaluated after the incident in question. A source told Anderson that Griffin is “getting assistance on personal matters” and that the NFL is “comfortable he has a good support system around him.”
The primary concern for Griffen is what happened over the weekend, as officers of the Minneapolis Police Department were called to Hotel Ivy on Saturday because, per a police report obtained by ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, “an individual was threatening to shoot someone if he wasn’t allowed in his room.”
Additionally, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Griffen was “growing increasingly paranoid and feared someone was trying to kill him in the weeks and days” ahead of Saturday’s incident. The police report also references another incident in Griffen’s home neighborhood.
On the police report the individual’s name was redacted, but Cronin reports it was indeed Griffen who was at the hotel with a firearm when police came to check on him.
Additionally, the report indicates members of the hotel staff thought Griffen could have been “under the influence of alcohol or narcotics” and that Griffen, who checked into the hotel last week, created issues/a disturbance “each time he walks through the lobby.”
The Star-Tribune reports that Griffen’s wife said her husband “awoke in the middle of the night on Sept. 16 and left the home” and that Griffen does that “at times when he is fighting ‘demons’ in his head.” Griffen came back home on Wednesday and then left until Saturday.
Some of the details provided by Griffen’s wife are extremely bizarre and concerning. From the Star-Tribune:
- Police learned from Vikings player development director Les Pico that Griffen “has been really struggling for the past few weeks,” the police reports read. Pico said Griffen “has been explosive, screaming and yelling” at practice, the reports continued. Pico called Griffen paranoid and prone to repeating himself.
- Griffen’s wife then called and said he was at teammate Trae Waynes’ home down the road. Griffen was trying to break in, had jumped through bushes and was shirtless. Within minutes, Griffen’s wife notified police that he was in a pickup truck with someone who didn’t know what to do with him. The man had encountered Griffen at a gas station, and delivered him home.
- Police met Griffen outside late Saturday afternoon, and he was making comments about “777” — having to do with angels — and that he went to Waynes’ home because “God made me do it.”
Per Cronin, things got heated enough Saturday where there was a threat of assault directed toward some hotel staff members. When police officers showed up, Griffen said “I’m leaving.” No arrests were made.
The Vikings released a statement Monday night confirming they are aware of the situation.
“We are aware of the situation involving Everson Griffen and certainly concerned by what we have heard,” Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said. “We are currently focused on Everson’s well-being and providing the appropriate support for him and his family.”
Asked about Griffen’s absence after the loss to Buffalo, Zimmer said the defensive end “is having a personal matter and I’m going to leave it at that.”
Griffen was held out of practice throughout the week with a knee injuryagainst the Bills.