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Mental health struggles surface for Vikings' Everson Griffen

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Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings
Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after sacking Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff game on January 14, 2018.
Hannah Foslien | Getty Images

More details are emerging about the status of Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen, pointing to what appears to be a serious mental health crisis for the Vikings star.

A report made public Tuesday by Minnetrista police details how the head of Vikings security on Saturday asked authorities to check on Griffen's wife and children after an incident earlier that day involving Griffen at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis where police allegedly had to remove Griffen following a "disturbance." 

Vikings security chief Kim Klawiter told police that Griffen was driving back home to Minnetrista following the Hotel Ivy incident, that Griffen wasn't "acting normal lately" and that "it's almost like he's having a nervous breakdown." 

Police responding to Griffen's home said they found Griffen's wife and children had left. At a meeting at a nearby park, Tiffany Griffen told police that she'd been struggling with her husband's mental state, that he had been talking irrationally, leaving the house unexpectedly and may have made some suicidal remarks by text message earlier in September.

An officer told Tiffany Griffen that what she described wasn't enough to detain her husband for his own health and welfare. Authorities later heard from Vikings officials that he'd been ordered away from the team pending a mental health evaluation.

Police later Saturday found Everson Griffen back at his home and summoned paramedics to the house and filed a mental health hold on him.

The report details a series of conversations between Griffen and police in which he expressed fear for his life, mentioned the number 777 and asked if police had slain his parents. He was subsequently placed in an ambulance for transport to Fairview Southdale hospital in Edina.

On the way to the hospital, however, Griffen got out of the ambulance and police found him walking along County Road 44 waving his hands in the air. 

Medics told police some deer had crossed the road in front of the ambulance and Griffen had jumped up and told them he feared being shot. He later boarded the ambulance and rode the rest of the way to Fairview with a police escort.

"The only thing we're concerned about with Everson isn't anything to do with football, it's about him getting better," coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday at his regularly scheduled press conference ahead of Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Rams. "In the long run, he's a really good kid."