EAGAN, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings sent psychologists to work with police outside the home of defensive end Everson Griffen early Wednesday as the 12th-year player refused to leave his home because he was afraid of intruders, authorities said.
Griffen, 33, recently posted a series of Instagram posts that showed screenshots of text messages sent to his agent, Brian Murphy, in the middle of the night, NFL.com reported. They were pleas for help because Griffen claimed people were trying to kill him. He also posted a video that showed him holding a firearm and stating that people “were trying to pop me.”
Griffen called called 911 shortly after 3 a.m. No intruder was found in the home, the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
After spending nearly 12 hours inside his home, Griffen emerged without incident “and is now getting the care he needs,” the Vikings said in a statement.
“Our focus remains on Everson’s health and safety and providing the proper resources for him and his family,” the Vikings said.
Griffen took a leave from the team in 2018 for mental health treatment, according to The Associated Press.
In September 2018, Griffen was taken by ambulance to an area hospital after two incidents prompted police involvement, the Star-Tribune reported. At the time, Griffen threatened violence at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis and made comments about people trying to kill him, according to the newspaper.
Griffen later revealed that he lived in a sober house for the final three months of the 2018 season, according to the Star-Tribune. He played 17 of the team’s 18 regular season and playoff games in 2019.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters on Wednesday that he addressed the team about Griffen’s situation, NBC News reported.
Griffen was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft after playing three seasons at the University of Southern California. He has five sacks this season and 85.5 for his career.