Vikings placed defensive end Everson Griffen on the NFL's reserve/non-football illness list Friday, meaning he will be away from the team for at least three weeks. Griffen was taken to a mental health facility Wednesday afternoon, ending an impasse between him and police that started with a 911 call shortly after 3 a.m. from his home in Minnetrista.
Coach Mike Zimmer did not provide any update on Griffen's condition as of Friday afternoon or how the team will proceed with him this season.
"I don't have much of an update on him," Zimmer said before the Vikings' roster move was announced. "We've been so busy with everything."
Griffen missed five games in 2018 when he spent time away from the team receiving mental health treatment.
Early Wednesday morning, Griffen posted, then deleted, a video on Instagram saying people were trying to kill him as he held a gun in his hand. He told the dispatcher that he fired one round but nobody was wounded, police said; they added no intruder was found. According to police, Griffen refused to come out of the home until after 1:30 p.m., when he was transported by ambulance to an area health care facility.
General Manager Rick Spielman was outside Griffen's home on Wednesday with emergency responders and team mental health professionals, saying afterward that Griffen's next days and weeks were being charted by health care workers.
"They're working on that now," Spielman said early Wednesday evening. "The No. 1 step was, first of all, Everson and his family and to get the situation under control, and to get him transported to the necessary resources and professionals that he needs to be with."
Cousins, Shanahan meet again
Quarterback Kirk Cousins and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan are linked because of their two seasons spent together in Washington, and how that bond led to Shanahan's interest in Cousins during 2017 free agency. But Cousins will try to put some distance between the Vikings and 49ers on Sunday in a contested NFC playoff chase.
"We haven't worked together since 2013. It has been a long time," said Cousins, who is 2-1 against Shanahan's 49ers. "You study him since then and even I've gone back and watched my tape with him in 2012 and '13 because you're trying to learn. A great football coach, and he's worth studying. I can't speak to his sense of familiarity with me, but certainly I have a lot of respect for him."
As all but one Vikings game has been a one-score result, the offense is growing accustomed to critical drives with the clock running out. They haven't done so well at the end of the first half, but Cousins and company are closing out fourth quarters. They've strung together critical drives to end back-to-back wins against the Chargers and Packers, after scoring a late touchdown to force overtime in the loss at Baltimore.
"Because we've been put in the position so many times," running back Dalvin Cook said. "Go win the game, or go tie the game up, or whatever it is. In that short span of time, we built that memory bank in our heads to just react, just go out there and play."
Safety Josh Metellus returned to practice Friday from a 10-day quarantine on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He was the eighth player within a two-week span earlier this month to be quarantined because of a positive test or close contact. The 2020 sixth-round pick is a core contributor on special teams. But he's one of three players listed questionable for San Francisco, including safety Camryn Bynum (ankle) and guard Wyatt Davis (ankle).
Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, who was forced to isolate from the team on Tuesday, is the only Vikings player currently on the COVID list.