Everson Griffen barred from Minnesota Vikings, ordered to undergo mental health evaluation


The Minnesota Vikings informed Everson Griffen and his agent last week that the star defensive end would not be allowed back to the team until he underwent a mental health evaluation, according to a police incident report obtained by ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.

Leslie Pico, the Vikings’ executive director of player development, told police in Minnetrista, Minnesota, that team management sent Griffen and his agent the letter on Thursday, two days before an alleged incident involving Griffen at a Minneapolis hotel.

According to the incident report, Pico told police that Griffen had been “explosive, screaming and yelling” at the team facility and that he had been struggling in recent weeks.

Even though the Vikings want Griffen to undergo the mental health evaluation, Pico told police that Griffen has not done or said anything that led the team to believe that he is a danger to himself or others.

Griffen is being evaluated at a Minneapolis-area hospital, a league source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson earlier Tuesday. The source said Griffen is “getting assistance on personal matters” and that the league is “comfortable he has a good support system around him.”

Pico also told police that he intended to meet with Griffen on Saturday at Hotel Ivy, where Griffen had been staying. According to a separate incident report obtained earlier Tuesday by ESPN, authorities from the Minneapolis Police Department were called Saturday to Hotel Ivy because an individual was threatening to shoot someone if he wasn’t allowed in his room.

Though his name was redacted from the incident report, sources told Cronin that the individual in question at the hotel is Griffen.

Pico told police that upon meeting Griffen at the hotel that the defensive forgot why he wanted to speak to him and did not want to talk to him anymore.

Griffen did not practice last week and was listed as having a knee injury. The Vikings ruled him out of Sunday’s game against the Bills because of the injury, and coach Mike Zimmer said after the game that Griffen was not in attendance because he was dealing with a personal matter.

Sources told Anderson that a number of Vikings players and coaches were not aware of Saturday’s incident, even at game time on Sunday.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said Monday night in a statement that the team was “currently focused on Everson’s well-being and providing the appropriate support for him and his family.”

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