EAGAN, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday sent psychologists to the home of defensive end Everson Griffen to work with police to guide him through another alarming mental health situation, with the 12th-grade player refusing to leave his home.
Griffen, who took time off the team in 2018 for mental health treatment, posted early morning screenshots of text messages to his agent Brian Murphy on Instagram saying he needed help and that people were trying to kill him. He also posted a video which showed him with a gun which he said had been legally purchased. These messages have since been deleted.
The Vikings said they had had representatives at Griffen’s home as well as mental health professionals from the team all morning in cooperation with law enforcement in Minnetrista, the Minneapolis suburb where Griffen lives and his family.
“Our only concern at the moment is the safety and well-being of Everson and his family,” the Vikings said in their statement.
Speaking at the start of his usual press conference on Wednesday, coach Mike Zimmer said he couldn’t provide much information. When asked if Griffen was safe, Zimmer replied that he didn’t know.
As to whether Griffen would play on Sunday when the Vikings face the San Francisco 49ers, Zimmer said, “No, that’s really not our concern right now. It’s really about him.”
Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know needs help, is in a crisis, or needs to talk to someone, there are many resources available on the Public Health Canada website. .
Minnetrista Police, in a press release, said officers responded to a 911 call at 3 a.m. from Griffen’s residence. Griffen said on the 911 call that there were intruders in the house and he fired a shot but no one was injured.
When the police arrived, no intruder was located. Police said they were convinced Griffen was alone in the house and continued to work with him to resolve the situation.
Griffen, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, missed five games in 2018 while dealing with his mental health.
Police at the time said Griffen made comments about people trying to kill him. He was involved in a disruption the day before a game at a local hotel, then later showed up shirtless at teammate Trae Waynes’ house. Griffen was taken to hospital, but he jumped out of the ambulance at one point before the police brought him back.
Griffen has never been arrested or suspected of committing crimes, but has undergone a mental health assessment. He then took a team-supported time off, returning later in the season and finishing with 5 1/2 sacks in 11 games.