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Everson Griffen in hospital following hotel incident

28 September 2018

The Vikings are "concerned" and focused on Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen's "well-being" after a reported incident over the weekend at the team's hotel.

Officer Michael Kokesh met with Griffen's wife, who told him that Griffen got up in the middle of the night on September 16 and left the house, which he has done before in attempt to deal with "demons in his head", according to a police report. Details continue to emerge, but reports state the Griffen has been struggling with mental health and feelings of paranoia for weeks before Saturday's actions prompted additional action.

Zimmer was asked Tuesday whether the team could have done anything to make sure Griffen had undergone a mental health evaluation prior to Saturday.

The Minneapolis Police Department report detailed the incident, with the name of the person making the threat redacted.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said in a statement Monday night that the team is "focused on Everson's well-being and providing the appropriate support for him and his family".

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"We have a very, very good support program, and our owners do an unbelievable job of giving players all the resources that they need", Zimmer said. Coach Mike Zimmer said Griffen wasn't on the sideline for the game because he was dealing with a "personal matter" but wouldn't elaborate.

According to the incident report, Pico told police before the incident at the hotel that Griffen had been "explosive, screaming and yelling" at the team facility.

Kokesh spoke with Vikings executive director of player development Les Pico, who said Griffen had been exhibiting paranoid behavior and irrational and rapid speech but did not believe he was at risk for harming himself or others. Sources told ESPN's Courtney Cronin that such a letter was never sent to Griffen or his representatives.

Griffen eventually left the hotel and did not play in the Vikings' 27-6 loss to Buffalo on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium after being held out of practice last week because of a knee injury. The man had encountered Griffen at a gas station, and delivered him home. There was no arrest made in the incident. He agreed to be taken for mental health treatment, but the report says he fled the ambulance and later agreed to continue the trip with a police escort. "He's always been a really, really good model for us and obviously he's going through some tough times now".

"Everson made several comments about people trying to kill him, referenced 777 and God several times. - went to a peer's house, opened door and left". He signed a $58 million, four-year contract extension in 2017 and had a career-high 13 sacks that season.

Everson Griffen in hospital following hotel incident