EAGAN, Minn. – Everson Griffen wants to be a success story, and the Vikings plan to support him in any way possible to help him achieve that.
And in this case, "success story" isn't just measured by the number of sacks the defensive end accrues.
Griffen has now played two games after being away from the team for five weeks to focus on personal matters. And while Griffen told media members after Sunday's win that he is continuing to knock the rust off, it's more important that his general wellbeing is in a good place.
Vikings General Rick Spielman spoke with Twin Cities media members Tuesday, as he typically does during each season's bye week, and was asked about Griffen's current status.
Spielman said that Griffen has done everything "and beyond" that he's been asked to do by the medical professionals.
"We are 100-percent supporting everything that they put in place, and we will support Everson and his family 100 percent," Spielman said. "Our ownership has never said 'no' to trying to provide the best resources that we can, and Everson's in a very good spot now. But it's not, 'OK, today.' It's an ongoing thing.
"Everson is hell-bent on being a success story," Spielman added. "But I want to make sure that, as an organization, we put all the pieces in place that he needs to have the best chance of success."
Spielman believes that the Vikings have the correct resources in place but pointed out that the individual has to want to seek out help, and that can be affected by a stigma that tends to surround mental illness.
"Players usually want to go get an ankle fixed if they can get it fixed," Spielman said. "Sometimes people, in general, because they don't want to be seen as weak or [as dealing with a] mental health issue, then they won't go get the help or the resources necessary."
According to Spielman, over his career he has dealt with maybe four or five similar situations with a player needing support, and each instance has been a learning experience.
Through the years, Spielman has been able to assess each situation in regards to resources important to have in place and "some of the things we'll continue to have in place" moving forward.
"The ownership wants it for our players and for our coaches, but it's also for this entire building," Spielman said in reference to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. "Anyone that has mental health issues should have nothing but the best care. Because it's such a significant thing, in my opinion, in society today, and it's something that everybody is scared of, but [it shouldn't be that way]."