October 23, 2018 06:37 PM
The video above originally aired on Sept. 25
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who has missed the past five games after he was hospitalized following a series of incidents that left team officials concerned for his mental health, is expected to resume team activities Wednesday, the team confirmed in a release Tuesday afternoon.
"Being around my teammates and coaches is something I have missed for several weeks," the All-Pro defensive end said in a statement.
"While this is an exciting and positive move forward for me, it is only the next step in a longer process. I look forward to once again putting in the work with the guys and contributing to this team in any way I can. My larger focus remains on addressing my personal health, and I'm hopeful the time will come when I feel comfortable sharing my story and using my platform to bring awareness to these issues. I continue to be extremely grateful for the constant support from my family, my teammates, the Vikings organization and our tremendous fans."
The Vikings worried Griffen was suffering "a nervous breakdown" in the week leading up to a loss to Buffalo on Sept. 23. He was kicked out of practice, triggering bizarre behavior that eventually led to his hospitalization on the evening of Sept. 22, according to a Minnetrista police report.
The report states Griffen's behavior at practice – described by a team official as "explosive, screaming and yelling" – was so disruptive that the defensive end was ordered to get a mental health evaluation before he would be allowed to rejoin the team.
Griffen posted a status on Instagram days later, discussing the events that led to his hospitalization.
In it, he apologized to those impacted by his actions and went on to discuss his plans moving forward when it came to his mental health.
Griffen also expressed his gratitude, saying: "I am extremely grateful for the support I have received from my family, the Vikings organization, my teammates and our tremendous fan base."
At the time, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said the team's top concern was Griffen's recovery and did not put a timetable on his return to the field.
"Right now, the only thing we're concerned about with Everson isn't anything football," he said of a player who has reached the Pro Bowl the past three seasons. "It's about him getting better."
"In the five years I've been here, I've always loved Everson," he added. "The effort he puts out and the work that he does. He's been a really, really good role model for us. He's going through a tough time right now."
RELATED: Vikings' Griffen 'Extremely Grateful' for Support in Instagram Post
In a statement Tuesday, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said the team is glad to have Griffen back.
"We have been in communication with Everson's medical professionals throughout this process and have relied on his recommendations regarding the appropriate next steps for Everson," the statement read.
"We are excited to welcome Everson back to the Vikings and to see him around teammates, coaches, and staff - people who care deeply about his well-being. Our focus will continue to be on providing an on-going support system for Everson and his family."
Updated: October 23, 2018 06:37 PM
Created: October 22, 2018 12:24 PM
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