Vikings' Everson Griffen expected to play vs. Saints after missing 5 games

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen is expected to be active Sunday versus the Saints after being away from the team for the last five weeks.

According to the Vikings’ website, Griffen will make his return to the lineup for the a rematch of the 2017 NFC Divisional round matchup with the Saints after returning to practice Wednesday.

In Griffen’s return, he addressed the circumstances that led to his prolonged absence. 

“This is bigger than football, this is part of the process,” Griffen said, via ESPN. “We got a team, we got a good group of individuals, the Minnesota Vikings, the doctors, myself, my family, and we got a plan in place and we’re going to execute that plan day-in and day-out, and we’re going to stay on top of it. That’s our goal. This is bigger than football, and it’s part of the plan. I’m excited to be back.”

The Pro Bowl player was last on the field in the Vikings’ Week 2 tie against the Packers. Through two games, Griffen recorded six total tackles, five quarterback hits and one pass defended.

He was later ruled out of the Bills contest with a knee injury, and then was placed under a health and welfare hold at a local Minneapolis hospital after his alleged involved in an incident at the team hotel, in which he threatened to shoot employees if he was not allowed into his room.

Griffen, 30, released a statement shortly after the event saying he was “focused on resolving personal issues with which I have been dealing for a long time. Once I have had time to address those issues, I hope to share my story with everyone.”