Vikings DE Griffen back on field, after 'scary' illness
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was back on the field Thursday for practice, following a sudden illness that kept him out of the previous game.
Griffen said he felt sick a couple of hours before the Vikings played against Kansas City, and after consulting with the team's medical staff he went to Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis as a precaution.
Griffen was scratched from the lineup, and rookie Danielle Hunter started in his place. The Vikings beat the Chiefs 16-10.
''It was scary, but we've got the right people in our organization. They made the right decision for me and I'm happy to be back with my team, getting ready for Detroit,'' Griffen said, adding: ''I'm thankful for that, because I could've went out there and got injured or something bad could've happened.''
The Vikings play the Lions on Sunday, and Griffen put his chance of playing at 100 percent.
''No question in my mind,'' said Griffen, who has a team-high three sacks in four games.
Coach Mike Zimmer essentially said the same.
''He looked good today. He practiced hard. He's ready to go,'' Zimmer said.
Griffen declined to divulge specifics about his condition or confirm an ESPN report that he underwent heart-related testing at the hospital.
''That's not my job to release all my medical information, but, yeah, I was sick. Handled it accordingly. I'm back, feeling healthy and feeling strong,'' Griffen said.
Griffen said he was just as grateful for the words of encouragement he received from teammates during his unexpected absence.
''We're like brothers so anytime you see your brother going through something, not feeling well, whatever it might be, you want to reach out to let that person know that, `Hey, I love you,''' running back Adrian Peterson said. ''That was my text to him: `I love you, man.'''
Even with Griffen back, the Vikings are banged up along the front four. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd didn't practice Thursday because of knee and ankle injuries that occurred in the game against Kansas City, and backup defensive end Justin Trattou has been out for more than three weeks with a foot injury he suffered when the Vikings played San Diego.
The Vikings also placed backup defensive tackle Shamar Stephen on injured reserve this week with a broken foot and signed defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis to fill his spot.
Peterson made an appearance on the injury report this week, the result of the ring finger on his left hand he hurt against the Chiefs, but there's no apparent concern about his ability to take the handoffs as usual.
''The part that he got nicked, it really doesn't have anything to do with the ball,'' Zimmer said.
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