Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has reportedly been checked into a Minneapolis area hospital to undergo a mental health evaluation at the request of the team. Griffen’s admittance into the facility is reported to have followed a sequence of troubling incidents that culminated with him trying to force himself into a teammate’s home after police were called to respond to a threat of gun violence involving the NFL veteran, according to Bleacher Report.
Vikings fans who tuned in to watch Sunday’s [September 23] 27-6 blowout loss at the hands of the dreadful Buffalo Bills would eventually learn that not only had Griffen been kept off of the field, but that he was at no point present at U.S. Bank Stadium throughout the afternoon. Initial reports vaguely attributed the three-time Pro Bowl star’s absence to “personal matters.” But, before long the story got out about an alleged meltdown Griffen had in the lobby of Hotel Ivy. Most concerning about the alleged incident were accounts from Hotel Ivy staff that accuse Griffen of threatening to shoot somebody if he wasn’t let into his room.
Additional details would later leak to confirm that the 2 p.m. Hotel Ivy commotion marked the beginning of a day-long string of interventions from the law, for Griffen. According to Deadspin, Griffen had been granted the freedom to leave the scene after authorities determined that no weapon was found and that no charges would be pressed. But rather than retreat to his home for the day, a shirtless Griffen reportedly made his way over to and tried to let himself into the residence of teammate Trae Waynes, who wasn’t home at the time. It wasn’t until a good Samaritan in a truck eventually found Griffen wandering at a gas station and went out of his way to drive him home, that he’d again come face to face with police.
The report that officers filed recounts how Everson was yelling and insisting that God had called him to Waynes’ house. Thanks to a discussion they were able to have with Griffen’s wife – who by that point had left the home with their children, out of fear – the officers were able to gather some backstory on such behavior as Griffen regularly waking up out of his sleep to speak of clashes he had with “demons” – and at times straying from the home for days on end – only to return in shambles. Their discussion with Mrs. Griffen prompted the officers to try and persuade Griffen to go to the hospital.
By 10 p.m. Griffen had been safely admitted. But transport to the medical facility reportedly didn’t go over as smoothly as paramedics might have hoped it would. At one point during the ride, Griffen reportedly “got up and jumped out of the ambulance because he was in fear that someone was going to shoot him,” according to the report.
On Monday, the Vikings organization disclosed that the decision to keep Griffen away from the team during Week 3 of NFL action actually predated the events of the weekend. ESPN cites Vikings’ director of player development, Les Pico, as having divulged that Griffen and his agent were informed via letter on Thursday that he would not be able to join in team activities until he sought an evaluation. The team reportedly felt forced to require that Griffen seek help because of weeks of outbursts that raised a red flag for personnel.