Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen will be away from the team, after the sudden and unexpected death of his mother on Wednesday.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Griffen’s mother was visiting her son in the Twin Cities when she died. The cause is not yet known. The Vikings were in meetings when Eden Prairie contacted the Vikings, and broke the news to Griffen.
“As you can imagine, it was tough,” Frazier said, via Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com. “There was nothing that could have prepared him for that news. He wasn’t here [Thursday]. I’m not sure what his status will be going forward.
“Our prayers as an organization, as well as his teammates, are with him and his family. This is a difficult time for him, as you can imagine, and we’ll be there to support him as best we can. . . . He loved his mom, like we all do. And to have no clue that something like this was on the horizon it was tough. It’s still tough, obviously.”
Griffen is tied for the team lead with three sacks, but has impressed the Vikings with his maturity after some off-field issues after his rookie season.
“Everson means a lot to me, like all our guys do, and I’ve seen the maturation in his life,” Frazier said. “I told him that [Wednesday] night. I know his mom would be so proud of how he has grown up and become a young man that has made her very proud. It’s hard to see him hurting. I lost my mother not long ago, I know what that experience is like, and it’s hard. It’s hard.”
Frazier said he didn’t know when Griffen would rejoin the team, leaving that up to him.
“It’s purely up to him when,” Frazier said. “There’s no timetable. I explained that to him,” Frazier said. “He needs to go through the grieving process properly and don’t be thinking about football. Just doing whatever he needs to do away from football. His mom was very, very close to him. This is going to be a tough deal for him.”
Our thoughts are with Griffen and his entire family.