Defensive end Everson Griffen revealed Monday the foot injury he’s played through this season is plantar fasciitis, which happened Oct. 29 and held him out of one game last month.
Griffen, leading the Vikings defensive line with 594 snaps and 13 sacks this season, credited playing through his foot injury and his general health to a methodical regimen he says begins the morning after a game at 5:30 a.m. with oxygen therapy in a hyperbaric chamber.
“Cryotherapy at 8:06. Came here, worked out — hot tub, cold tub,” Griffen said. “Got a massage at 5 — 5 to 9, then I go back to hyperbaric chamber. And I meet with my movement coach after this. That’s what I do. You play a lot of plays, you got to take care of your body.”
Wait, a four-hour massage?
“Four hours, 5 to 9, yup,” Griffen said.
A cameraman piped up, saying he was jealous.
“My wife is, too,” Griffen said. “And my homeboys who come in, oh you getting a massage, huh? You getting your feet rubbed? It’s like, yeah, that’s what I got to do to take care of my body. I don’t feel worn down. I don’t feel beat down. I feel like I’m ready to go. I’ll be ready Sunday, even better. My foot is only getting better, too.”
It’s working. Griffen has sat just 11 snaps — total — in the past three games. He’s only missed two games since 2011, including last month in Washington when he was just two weeks into plantar fasciitis and heel pain. The other absence was in 2015 when he was hospitalized before kickoff because of a heart-related scare.
Keenum still in saddle
The Vikings won’t change things up at quarterback just because an eight-game win streak was stopped. Quarterback Case Keenum will remain the starter moving forward, according to coach Mike Zimmer, as Teddy Bridgewater serves the backup role again Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Keenum completed 27 of 44 passes for 280 yards and two touchdown passes, but fumbled once and threw two interceptions, including one that bounced off the helmet of receiver Stefon Diggs.
“He did some really good things, and he did some poor things,” Zimmer said. “I thought he made some really, really good plays on a couple third downs. He made a couple bad throws.”
The Vikings still managed to run for 100 yards against the Panthers despite tough sledding for starting back Latavius Murray, who gained 14 yards on nine carries. Production tilted in Jerick McKinnon’s favor as he picked up 46 yards on just seven attempts. Keenum added 40 yards on five carries to bolster the attack.
McKinnon again led the Vikings backfield split in snaps, but Murray had the edge in touches while struggling to find much room throughout the game.
“I think the biggest thing was they were plugging the middle,” Zimmer said. “So we were trying to get the ball out to the perimeter a little bit more. Jerick had a few more runs to the perimeter.”
Well-wishes to Wentz
Murray reached out to Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz on Monday, when an MRI confirmed his second season is over because of a torn ACL. Murray, who has torn his ACL and undergone two ankle surgeries, said he knows Wentz through their agency.
Wentz’s injury, making Nick Foles the Eagles starter, could impact the NFC race for the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage led by the Eagles (11-2) and Vikings (10-3).
“I just told [Wentz] I feel bad for him and was praying for his fast recovery,” Murray said. “Football is second to everything when it comes to family and health.”