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Everson Griffen on return to Vikings: 'It's bigger than football'

"That's all I try to do is find that balance and work towards my health and wellness in not just football," he said. "It's bigger than football. It's my life, my family, my kids.
Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig
The story of Everson Griffen's personal struggles is much bigger than sports.

EAGAN, Minn. - Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen resumed team activities on Wednesday.

Griffen's recent off-the-field struggles were thrust into the public eye after a police report states that he caused a disturbance at a Minneapolis hotel in September, leading to the involvement of local authorities. Griffen has been off the field ever since.

RELATED: Everson Griffen makes first public statement

Griffen addressed the media Wednesday after practicing with the team. He said that along with the Vikings, his doctors and his family, he decided that he was ready to come back. He said he is following a step-by-step plan to take care of himself.

"That’s all I try to do is find that balance and work towards my health and wellness in not just football," he said. "It’s bigger than football. It’s my life, my family, my kids."

Griffen apologized and took "full responsibility" for his actions in September.

"I'm excited to be back and get the ball rolling," he said.

The defensive end has said he wants to share more of his story and use his platform to help others when the time is right. For now, he said to anyone who needs to reach out for help, "You've got to put your pride aside and know when enough is enough."

On Tuesday, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman issued a statement saying they have been in contact with Griffen's medical professionals and have relied on their recommendations to decide how to move forward.

"We are excited to welcome Everson back to the Vikings and to see him around teammates, coaches, and staff - people who care deeply about his well-being," he said. "Our focus will continue to be on providing an on-going support system for Everson and his family."

Griffen also shared a statement Tuesday, saying:

"Being around my teammates and coaches is something I have missed for several weeks. While this is an exciting and positive move forward for me, it is only the next step in a longer process. I look forward to once again putting in the work with the guys and contributing to this team in any way I can. My larger focus remains on addressing my personal health, and I’m hopeful the time will come when I feel comfortable sharing my story and using my platform to bring awareness to these issues. I continue to be extremely grateful for the constant support from my family, my teammates, the Vikings organization and our tremendous fans."

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer emphasized in September that Griffen's situation has nothing to do with football, and is all about "getting him better."