The Vikings received a somber reminder that football is only a small part of life on Wednesday.
Defensive end Everson Griffen was called up to the coach's office during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon when Eden Prairie police told him of the tragic news: his mother had passed away.
Griffen's mother was in town visiting her son, according to Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier. The death was very unexpected, as Frazier told 1500 ESPN:
As you can imagine, it was tough. There was nothing that could have prepared him for that news. He wasn't here (Thursday). I'm not sure what his status will be going forward. Our prayers as an organization, as well as his teammates, are with him and his family. This is a difficult time for him, as you can imagine, and we'll be there to support him as best we can...
He loved his mom, like we all do. And to have no clue that something like this was on the horizon it was tough. It's still tough, obviously.
Griffen has already been visited by several Vikings players and coaches offering their condolences on his sudden, tragic loss. As for when Griffen rejoins the team, Frazier said that it's totally up to the player to decide when he's ready:
It's purely up to him when, there's no timetable, I explained that to him (Wednesday)...He needs to go through the grieving process properly and don't be thinking about football. Just doing whatever he needs to do away from football. His mom was very, very close to him. This is going to be a tough deal for him.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Everson Griffen on what's surely a very hard time in his life.