Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook took the podium for his weekly Wednesday press conference in a somber mood.
His longtime teammate, Everson Griffen, was worried there was an intruder in his home and made a series of disturbing Instagram posts early Wednesday morning, claiming someone was in his house trying to kill him. With local authorities and team mental health specialists outside his home, Griffen hadn’t come out all morning. The rest of the team readied for Wednesday’s practice.
Griffen, 33, eventually came out of his home “without incident and is now getting the care that he needs,” per ESPN. However, while the situation was ongoing, Cook, 25, offered Griffen a strong message of support and a reminder.
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‘That’s My Brother’
Cook spoke admirably about how Griffen “took him under his wing” when he first arrived in Minnesota.
“Since I got here, he was one of the older guys that took me under his wing,” Cook said in a Nov. 24 press conference. “That’s my brother. I just want him to be okay.”
Griffen has enjoyed a renaissance, earning back a starting role and tallying a team-high five sacks among active players after spending a year away from the Vikings last season.
“That’s why your mental health is always important,” Cook said. “Checking on your loved ones — your brothers, the tough ones — that don’t show the signs of being weak or show the signs of having nothing wrong with them. Just making sure they’re okay. That’s important in today’s world.”
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Timeline of Griffen’s Situation
Early Wednesday morning, Griffen posted a disturbing video of him holding a pistol, which he said belongs to him, per ESPN.
“I’m in my house. N***** trying to pop me,” Griffen said in the video. “I’ve still got clips left. This is my gun, .45 Wilson Combat, registered to me. I bought all my bullets around town. Dalvin Cook helped me purchase this gun. It all belongs to me, and they are registered to me. I know exactly where I bought them. I’ve got the card I have them on. I have everything.”
Cook said he didn’t know why Griffen referenced him in the video but attempted to call and text Griffen Wednesday morning. Griffen did not answer, Cook said.
Griffen posted an Instagram story, saying, “I need help. People are trying to kill me in my own house.” He posted screenshots of a text conversation with his agent, Brian Murphy of Athletes First, requesting help from 911.
He called 911 and local authorities and team mental health specialists responded, waiting outside his home until around 1:30 p.m. CT, when he was taken by ambulance to a health care facility, per ESPN.
General manager Rick Spielman was at Griffen’s residence throughout the day.
“Their family is our family,” Spielman said, per Vikings.com.
“I can’t tell you how fortunate we are to have the mental health team we have in place that was there with me, and to watch the law enforcement groups and how they handled the situation,” Spielman said. “My job and role was basically to support anything they needed, to communicate back here [to people] in the building, to communicate with our ownership group. Keep everybody informed of what’s going on.
“All I know is that when we got the call this morning, that we immediately – our number-one concern was because of Everson, Tiffany and his family, how much we love them,” Spielman added. “And how much they are a part of this family.”
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