Everson Griffen apologizes, says he's 'happy to be back' with Minnesota Vikings

Everson Griffen apologizes, says he's 'happy to be back' with Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen returned to practice on Wednesday after missing five games to address a mental-health issue, and it's too early to tell if he will play in Week 8 against the Saints.

"It's been hard to be away", Griffen said.

In an Instagram post to his 52,000 followers last month, Griffen promised to return as a "much-improved" person and player. In a statement, Griffen called a return "the next step in a longer process" and said he hopes to eventually talk publicly about his issue.

Zimmer met with Griffen on Tuesday for the first time since he left the team and said "he was in good spirits".

Make no mistake, though: Being back in the meeting rooms and on the practice field with the Vikings was a cathartic experience.

Griffen was treated at a mental health facility after he exhibited erratic behavior in a series of incidents that caused his wife to call police.

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The Vikings became concerned with Griffen's well-being prior to two separate incidents that occurred on September 22, one day before he was slated to miss the Buffalo Bills game with a knee injury. "I continue to be extremely grateful for the constant support from my family, my teammates, the Vikings organization and our tremendous fans". "This is an illness, and he's done a good job of helping to get better and continues to try to get better, and he is probably going to have to continue to do that just like we all have to do in life".

"I learned a lot about the man outside of football".

"It was awesome, man". I'm just excited to get back here with my team and get back to the grind of things.

"Any time you miss four weeks or whatever it was, there's a little bit of rust", Zimmer said.

For now, Griffen's message to others struggling with mental health is clear.

"You need to ask for help".

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