SEATTLE - AUGUST 20: Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst #6 of the Seattle Seahawks looks to pass under pressure from Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on August 20, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Vikings defeated the Seahawks 20-7.(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Everson Griffen has certainly had an interesting six months, to say the least. He got the off-season underway by getting arrested in Los Angeles near the campus of his alma mater, the University of Southern California, and followed that up by planning an ill-advised Super Bowl party in Las Vegas (that Leslie Frazier eventually talked him out of throwing).
The 6'4", 273-pound Griffen found himself working with the linebackers on Monday afternoon at practice, and Coach Frazier said that Griffen would likely see some time at linebacker in Thursday's pre-season finale against the Houston Texans.
"He’s a tremendous athlete," Frazier said. "A guy that weighs 270 pounds, runs a 4.6 or 4.5 40; he’s just a tremendous athlete with good football intelligence. Has some playmaking abilities, so we want to utilize his athletic ability."
The Vikings have been hit with some injuries at the linebacker spot, which is another thing that could very well be driving this move. Jasper Brinkley is dealing with a hip flexor injury, and injuries have also sidelined Heath Farwell, Kenny Onatolu, and rookie Ross Homan have all missed time with injuries this pre-season as well.
Not quite sure what to make of this, to be honest. . .obviously Griffen is a good enough athlete to make the transition to outside linebacker. I certainly wouldn't expect him to make a huge contribution right away or anything, but it's certainly something that could be highly beneficial to the Vikings in the long term.