Vikings defensive lineman Everson Griffen is expected to play Sunday and returned to work Friday,…
Vikings' Griffen loses mother unexpectedly
Scott was in Eden Prairie, Minn., visiting her son when she died. Head coach Leslie Frazier said he was called out of a meeting Wednesday and informed of the death. Eden Prairie officers informed Griffen of the unexpected news at Winter Park.
"He loved his mom, like we all do. To have no clue that something like this was on the horizon, it was tough," Frazier said. "It's still tough, obviously."
No cause of death was known as of Thursday afternoon, Frazier said.
Frazier and some of Griffen's teammates went to his house to offer their support Wednesday evening.
"I was so, so impressed with our players last night when we were at his home. Just the support, the way they reached out to him last night," Frazier said. "Some of the guys that were there, the maturity that they showed, I drove away from his home and obviously you feel terrible for Everson and his family, but to see the support that our players displayed and the way they handled themselves, I was really encouraged by that."
Griffen was a fourth-round draft choice of the Vikings in 2010. He was considered a borderline first-round talent, but some teams had questions about his maturity. The Vikings have seen him grow in that respect in the two-plus years he has been part of the team.
"Everson means a lot to me, like all our guys do, and I've seen the maturation in his life and I told him that last night," Frazier said. "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. It's hard. It's hard."
On the field, Griffen had also matured. He is tied for the team lead with three sacks despite not being a starter. He is used mainly in pass-rushing situations and played in 59 percent of the defensive snaps Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
Frazier said there is no timetable for Griffen's return to the team.
"It's purely up to him when," Frazier said. "I explained to him yesterday 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."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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