NFL defensive lineman Everson Griffen was receiving care Wednesday after he refused to leave his home in Minnesota for hours after he called 911 to report an intruder, law enforcement officials and the Minnesota Vikings organization said.
He left the home without incident Wednesday afternoon after having refused to come out for most of the day, prompting ongoing communication with law enforcement and team psychologists, they said.
“Shortly after 3 a.m., Griffen called 911 from the residence and said someone was inside his home and that he needed help from police,” the Minnetrista Public Safety Department said in a statement. “Griffen also told the 911 dispatcher that he fired a weapon but nobody was injured.”
When officials arrived at Griffen’s home, they found that there was no intruder, the department said.
The agency said psychologists from the Vikings had been communicating with Griffen for hours.
Law enforcement personnel were confident that Griffen was the only person in the home, officials said.
Griffen came out without incident at about 1:30 p.m., officials said. He was taken by ambulance to an area health care facility, the public safety department said.
The Vikings said team representatives and mental health professionals had been at his home since early morning and were cooperating with investigators.
"Law enforcement agencies have notified us Everson Griffen came out of his home without incident and is now getting the care he needs," the Vikings said Wednesday afternoon. "Our focus remains on Everson's health and safety and providing the proper resources for him and his family.”
A representative for Griffen could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
The incident remained under investigation by Minnetrista police and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, officials said.
Griffen had posted screenshots on Instagram of middle-of-the-night text messages to his agent, Brian Murphy, that were pleas for help because, he said, people were trying to kill him. Griffen also posted a video depicting him with a gun, which he said was purchased legally. The posts have been deleted.
Griffen, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, missed five games in 2018 as he dealt with his mental health.
Police said at the time that Griffen had made comments about people who were trying to kill him. He was involved in a disturbance the day before a game at a local hotel and then showed up shirtless at teammate Trae Waynes’ house. Griffen was taken to a hospital, but he jumped out of the ambulance before police talked him back in.
Griffen, who was never arrested or suspected of committing any crimes, underwent a mental health evaluation. He then went on a team-supported leave, returning later in the season and finishing with 5½ sacks in 11 games. In an interview two years later with the NFL Network, Griffen said he spent the last three months of the 2018 season living in a sober house.
Griffen, 33, rejoined the Vikings this season after having played for Dallas and Detroit last year. He played for Minnesota from 2010 to 2019 after he was drafted in the fourth round out of the University of Southern California. He has five sacks in nine games this season.
Griffen and his wife, Tiffany, have three children. He posted a moving tribute to her Tuesday on Instagram in honor of the fourth birthday of their youngest child, Sebastian.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told reporters Wednesday afternoon: “Their family is our family. It’s important at this moment that we respect the health, the safety and the well-being of everyone that is involved in this situation. And I know he is receiving the care and the support he needs along with his family.”