Vikings player development director Les Pico said that Griffen "has really been struggling for the past few weeks."

By Kaelen Jones
September 24, 2018

The Minnesota Vikings banned defensive end Everson Griffen from practice last week and asked him to seek mental health treatment, according to The Star Tribune.

Vikings player development director Les Pico told police that Griffen "has really been struggling for the past few weeks" and "has been explosive, screaming and yelling" at practice, reports the Tribune.

The team sent the defensive end and his agent a letter last Thursday saying that he was not allowed back until he had a mental health evaluation, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Griffen is currently being evaluated at a Minnesota hospital after concerns were raised over his mental health this past weekend. Pelissero reported Monday that a police spokesman told him authorities were called to investigate an incident which took place at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday. However, the other person involved retreated from the scene immediately and was not identified.

Griffen was allegedly lying on the floor of the Hotel Ivy's lobby and threatening to assault staff employees, according to the Tribune.

On Saturday afternoon, Griffen's wife met with police and said that he awoke in the middle of the night on Sept. 16 and left their house. He returned last Wednesday only to leave again and not return until Saturday morning. According to the Tribune, Griffen had been staying at the Hotel Ivy.

Griffen's wife told police that he had become "combative" and needed to be medicated. An officer called Griffen on his cellphone on Saturday afternoon, and the defensive end told the officer that he was going to be gone for a week and started rambling before hanging up.

His wife later told police that Griffen was at Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes' home, where he was trying to break in. After a police officer met with Griffen, who agreed to be taken in for mental health treatment, the defensive end fled from the ambulance. Griffen later agreed to continue the trip under police escort, reports the Tribune.

Griffen's incident on Saturday is considered a "personal matter" by police and did not result in charges, reports Pelissero.

The Vikings listed Griffen as "knee/not injury related" on Monday's injury report after he did not play in Sunday's loss against the Bills. Coach Mike Zimmer told reporters after the game that Griffen had been dealing with a personal matter, even though he was listed out with a knee injury.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman released a statement on Monday expressing concern for Griffen's well-being.

"We are aware of the situation involving Everson Griffen and certainly concerned by what we have heard," Spielman said. "We are currently focused on Everson's well-being and providing the appropriate support for him and his family."

Griffen, 30, is a three-time Pro Bowler. He started each of Minnesota's first two games. He's recorded one sack this season.

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