Aside from the on-field struggles of the defense, the biggest story for the Minnesota Vikings through the first quarter of the season has been what’s happened with defensive end Everson Griffen. Following an incident at a Minneapolis hotel prior to the Vikings’ Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills, Griffen has been away from the team and working on some personal issues.
While Griffen has vowed to come back, per a statement he released last week, it won’t happen prior to the Vikings’ Week 5 contest in Philadelphia. Vikings’ head coach Mike Zimmer confirmed that to reporters late last week as well.
It’s hard to speculate about whether or not the loss of Griffen has had a residual effect on the team as a whole. Yes, everyone on the Vikings’ roster is a professional and has a job to do, and I understand that sentiment, but at the same time Griffen is one of the Vikings’ veteran leaders. It’s difficult to believe that his absence wouldn’t have an effect on his teammates, particularly those that have played with him for a number of seasons.
Zimmer also said that the main focus is on getting Griffen “right” again and then worrying about getting him back onto the football field. Hopefully we will see both of those things in the very near future, but the former is defintely more important than the latter.
Whenever the comeback starts for Everson Griffen, however, it won’t begin in Week 5.