Vikings DE Griffen leaves home; getting care
- Covered the 49ers, Raiders and Warriors for the San Jose Mercury News. She joined ESPN in 2017.
EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the team has been notified by law enforcement agencies that defensive end Everson Griffen came out of his home “without incident and is now getting the care that he needs,” hours after the 33-year-old made a series of disturbing Instagram posts early Wednesday morning claiming that someone was in his home trying to kill him.
“We are thankful to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnetrista Police Department and the Orono Police Department for their quick response and dedication to ensuring the situation ended peacefully,” the Vikings’ statement read. “Our focus remains on Everson’s health and safety and providing the proper resources for him and his family.”
The Minnetrista Public Safety Department said in a news release that Griffen called 911 after 3 a.m. Wednesday from his residence and said someone was inside his home while requesting assistance from authorities. Griffen told the 911 dispatcher that he fired a weapon but that no one was injured.
According to the news release, law enforcement and Vikings team psychologists were in communication with Griffen since approximately 7 a.m. but Griffen had refused to come out of his residence for hours, well into the middle of the afternoon. Police said they could not find an intruder at Griffen’s residence.
Early Wednesday morning, Griffen made several Instagram posts, all of which have been deleted, including a video that showed the defensive end inside his home with a pistol, which he said belongs to him.
“I’m in my house. N—– trying to pop me,” Griffen said in the video. “I’ve still got clips left. This is my gun, .45 Wilson Combat, registered to me. I bought all my bullets around town. Dalvin Cook helped me purchase this gun. It all belongs to me, and they are registered to me. I know exactly where I bought them. I’ve got the card I have them on. I have everything.”
Cook told Twin Cities media members Wednesday that he did not know why he was referenced in Griffen’s video but that he called and texted the defensive end to check in on him earlier in the day. Griffen, according to Cook, did not answer.
“Since I got here, he was one of the older guys that took me under his wings and taught me, ‘This is what you don’t do, this is how you do it, this is how you take care of your body,'” Cook said. “Just how to be a pro. Appreciate him for that, for the little things he did. Since he got back, our relationship has gotten stronger. He’s been trying to win games. We’ve been on the same mission, all of us, just trying to win games, trying to get better, trying to lead this team in the right way. So we are definitely close. That’s my brother. I just want him to be OK. In his mind, make sure his family is OK. I just want what’s best for Everson overall.”
In an Instagram story, Griffen wrote, “I need help people trying to kill me. At my own house,” and he posted screenshots of an alleged text conversation with his agent, Brian Murphy of Athletes First, in which he requested help from 911.
Griffen was alone inside his home according to authorities.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said when asked that he was unsure whether Griffen was safe. As far as the defensive end’s status for Minnesota’s Week 12 game at San Francisco, Zimmer also said he was not sure.
“No, that’s really not our concern right now,” Zimmer said. “It’s really about him.”
In his first stint with the Vikings, Griffen took a monthlong hiatus during the 2018 season to focus on his health and well-being after the team ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and after two incidents involving police authorities led to him being hospitalized. He said in April 2019 that he had had a “rough year” relating to his mental health.
Zimmer said that he addressed the team Wednesday morning and that general manager Rick Spielman would speak with the media later in the day.
“We’re only concerned about his well-being,” Zimmer said. “He’s been with us for a long time. Good guy. Works hard.”
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