The Minnesota Vikings will be without one of their top players on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. On Friday, the Vikings announced that defensive end Everson Griffen will miss the game as he is in concussion protocol. But the reason Griffen is injured is he crashed his car while trying to avoid a deer on the way to practice on Thursday. No further details were announced.
Griffen, 33, is back with the Vikings after spending the 2020 season with the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions In 14 games. He recorded 43 tackles and six sacks with the two teams. In August 2020, Griffen signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys and played in seven games. In October, Griffen was traded to the Lions where he finished out the rest of the year. Last month, Griffen signed a contract with the Vikings and played in 40% of the defensive snaps last week, as mentioned by CBS Sports.
"It felt amazing just to be back where I started my career, with the guys I love: Danielle [Hunter], Harrison [Smith]. It felt great, man," Griffen told Greg Coleman of the Vikings Radio Network. "It's good to be back, and I enjoyed every minute." Griffen went on to talk about his love for the Vikings and their fans. "There's nothing like the people who love you. The team, the players who love you, the people who love you," Griffen explained. "That love, you can't find it everywhere. And the Purple – the fans, the coaches, the players – that's love."
The Vikings selected Griffen in the fourth round of the NFL Draft back in 2010. In his first run with the Vikings, Griffen was named to the Pro Bowl four times and All-Pro Second Team back in 2017. His beat season was in 2017 when he tallied 45 tackles, 13 tacks and three forced fumbles. In his career, Griffin has notched 80.5 sacks nine forced fumbles, 20 pass deflections and two defensive touchdowns.
Griffen played college football at USC where he was a standout defender. He was named Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2007 and then selected to the All-Pac 10 Second Team in 2009 after tallying 9.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Griffen played in 38 games in his college career and finished with 21 tackles for loss, 18 sacks and three forced fumbles.